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Archive for the ‘cardiology -Preventive’ Category

The age old  statistics , 30 % of deaths following STEMI happen even before patients reach the hospital may still be true. But ,there is an untold story that happen regularly in the rehabilitation phase .Its ironical many  apparently stabilised STEMI patients still lose their life just before they get discharged or within 30 days .More often than not this happens in the toilet when they strain for defecation. At least a dozen deaths I have witnessed in the last few years. Of course we have resuscitated many near deaths as well.

What exactly happens to these ill-fated patients inside the toilet  ?

Straining is often an isometric exercise and prolonged strain ends up in   valsalva maneuver , a prolonged valsalva strain realistically shuts both vena cava due to raised intrathoracic  pressure .Vena caval shutdown is equivalent to asystole and imagine the chaos in the  delicately recannalised LAD when the coronary perfusion pressure nose dives (Even the  stented segment in IRA is vulnerable as distal flow restoration may take time   !)

The sudden systemic hypotension leads to  fall in coronary arterial pressure proximal  to the lesion. The normal physiological response to proximal fall would be corresponding distal fall maintaining the flow gradient . If the microvascular bed is damaged( loss of capacity to vasodilate ) this distal fall may not happen promptly .So its acute standstill of flow  across IRA ( or even Non IRA if it has a lesion )  triggering events that rapidly destabilise  unless intervened.

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hemodynamics of ffr lad valsalva 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other modes of sudden toilet deaths

*The opposite process , ie sudden spikes of blood pressure (In contrast to hypotension of  Valsalva strain ) can  occur as straining is equivalent to Isometric exercise which increase afterload .This can either cause LV failure, another episode of ACS, myocardial stretching, even tear it and result in mechanical complication.

  1. Acute LVF triggered by spikes of BP /new onset ischemic MR.
  2. Free wall rupture and tamponade.
  3. Emboli getting dislodged from LV during strain

How to anticipate and prevent these  deaths ?

  • All complicated STEMI patients should have special rehabilitation program.
  • A simple rule could be patients with persistent ST elevation with  are prone for further events.They should be flagged. (Stented / TIMI flows matters very little !)
  • Restrict all vigorous activity for minimum of one to two weeks ( I am not a believer of pre-discharge stress test even in uncomplicated MI  )
  • Use laxatives adequately.
  • Western toilets may have an hemodynamic advantage. Indian closets that require squatting which increase the venous return , ultimately it compromises coronary hemodynamics more. We don’t understand as yet ,what will happen if one perfoms a valsalva  and  squatting simultaneously.(Which will prevail over the other ?)
  • Finally toilet shouldn’t  be locked during rehabilitation for safety purposes.
  • All post STEMI pateints should have registered with emergency contact and alert service ready.

Has primary PCI has reduced the sudden deaths  in Post MI period in current era ?

I’m afraid , I can’t say a dogmatic yes . May be ,to a certain extent , However,  it has created a new subset of perfectly  stented still prone for ACS.A physiologically or pharmacologically  recannlised IRA generally heals by themself. A Stented IRA  hands over  the responsiblity of healing the injured IRA to us  .Ofcourse ,we try to do it  with lot of difficulty  .(Different versions of  confused DAPT  regimens !)

Final message 

Please note , “discharge to 30 day mortality” following STEMI   which is  upto 2 %  .It is the most neglected  and  mismanaged phase in coronary care .Toilets are definitely not a benign place for them and all the good work done by you in cath lab and CCU can be nullified in few Innocuous looking seconds !

Postample 

Is Toilet room death amounts to  negligence / mis-management  inside hospital ?

May be there is a reason for this argument. When to ambulate in complicated STEMI is a big question. ? Though we have guidelines some of the patients are reluctant to use assisted service.

I think its a calculated risk , and  there is trade off between the benefits of early ambulation and potential exertion related risk.

One such argument by a cardiologist in a medicolegal situation goes like this. “I thought my patient’s heart  is stable enough to use toilet , it misfired , hence it is just an error of  judgment. I can’t be faulted.  Though this argument appear logical , many times it can’t hold water in court of law !”

Reference

1.Siebes M, Chamuleau SA, Meuwissen M,   Influence of hemodynamic conditions on fractional flow reserve: parametric analysis of underlying model Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Oct;283(4):H1462-70

Further reading

Cardiac rehabilitation NICE guidelines  : Myocardial infarction: cardiac rehabilitation and prevention of further cardiovascular disease 2013

 

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Aspirin for primary prevention of CVD is an ongoing controversy for more than 2 decades. Please note, the controversy is not in the competence of Aspirin to prevent cardiovascular  event, but in the potential risk of GI bleed and whether that risk is worth taking. Secondary prevention has no such issues as the benefits easily outweigh the potential bleeding risk .

Male vs female

There is a “gender” and “age” difference  in the ability of Aspirin to prevent vascular events.Aspirin primarily prevents MI in men(>45)  and stroke in women(>55)  (Funny it may look,  that’s what data says!)

Age

Hence, the target age group  for aspirin is between 45/55  to 80 years. (Up to 45 and beyond 80 it has no role .Beyond 80 ,  risk of hemorrhagic stroke is significant )

Diabetic vs non diabetic

Many believe  all diabetics should straightway  get Aspirin as it was considered  CAD equivalent.Its not acceptable to all. . American diabetic association  has risk stratified DM and advice Aspirin only in high / Intermediate risk.Look for Key word ie “Net benefit (Ref 2)

Why so much confusion  ?  and What can be  the conclusion ?

The confusion is because each scientific body like AHA, ESC, ACCP, ADA ,USPSTF have  their own inference and the presence of too many risk assessment tools adds further dizziness .(SCORE /FRAMINGHAM, etc). It tempts me to say ignore all these and use  cortical sense !

Fortunately ,we do have some clarity as there is a common theme in all these advisories .Aspirin is indeed a wonder drug and able to block the platelets to prevent acute thrombus formation in the critical circulations.(FDA doesn’t seem to agree with this , How can a cheap generic do that job so effectively  ? Let the Bayer fight ! ) 

It seems reasonable to conclude

All men and women  between 45/55  to 80 years should get Aspirin (81mg /day or 325mg alternate days ) if there is at least one or two CVD risk factors provided there is no major bleeding risk .

Ongoing  studies on primary prevention with Aspirin 

ASCEND: A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes; or with diabetes taking a statin 

ENVIS-ion (Aspirin for the Prevention of Cognitive Decline in the Elderly )

ASPREE (Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) 

These  studies are  expected to  bring more data (and be ready for more confusion!)

Can we use Clopidogrel  for primary prevention if a person is intolerant to Aspirin ?

Logic may say yes.As of now it can not be advised for primary prevention.

Reference

1.A elegant advisory is hosted in Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) website with supportive data from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

primary prevention of cad by aspirin

2.Pignone  M., Alberts  M.J., Colwell  J.A., et al; Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in people with diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association, a scientific statement of the American Heart Association, and an expert consensus document of the American College of Cardiology Foundation. Circulation. 2010;121:2694-2701

3.Sigrun Halvorsen,Felicita Andreotti,  Jurriën M., Aspirin Therapy in Primary Cardiovascular Disease PreventionA Position Paper of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Thrombosis  J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(3):319-327.

 

2016 Update by USPSTF in Annals of Internal medicine has a Major revision.

It raises concern over bleeding risk, and ask for restricted use of Aspirin

within the age group of 50 -69 for both male and female.(Who are at risk of CAD)

Link to the Annals of Internal Medicine Article  Aspirin primary prevention 2016

 

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We all know to err is human , but most of us probably won’t agree medical mistakes , (bulk of which happen in the name of practicing state of the art of science ! ) could be the dominant theme in modern medical care !

BMJ exposes this  well known secret with the help of most authentic data from an apex scientific body CDC , Atlanta .

Reference

http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139#

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Coronary artery disease (CAD)  is man-kind’s  greatest threat in modern times.CAD ,diabetes ,Hypertension, obesity, mental illness  has become an epidemic  even among the young !

 

Lifestyle diseases cad risk smoking alcohol

There is a simple solution for  lifestyle diseases !

Just  . . .  Remove style from your life !

lifestyle diseases coroanry cardiology medical ethics inappropriate stents over treatment excess medical care , bio ethics,

Instead . . . try to live like these  Tibetian villagers

life purpose of living

Final message

One study which researched all lives who crossed 100 Years  concluded something like this !

“To live a longer and healthy life* ,Get up early  , have a purposeful daily chore that must include a physical component , work with conscience ,love every one sync with the nature and  lastly and most importantly remove style from your life !

Choose  your life . . . It is simply there in your hand for grabs !

Post-amble.

* Please note , Doctors  are never listed in the top with relevance to health of mankind  ! They simply cure some illness !

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I share my thoughts after going through this  85 page  land mark document !

acc aha 2013 guidelines cholesterol ncep

In whatever way I look at it  ,It  keeps  both physicians and their patient population guessing  in a  confused sate regarding their cholesterol levels  the treatment modalities !

It seems to revolve around a single point agenda,  how to fit a single drug called statin in the scheme of things !

What  if  ,  a new  drug comes and statin is  proved  not an angel  in our fight against the evil  of  atheroscerosis !

 

acc aha lipid guidelines atp 3 ncep  nhlbi dyslipidemia

Summary as  I interpreted

“All healthy and unhealthy human beings should ask only one  question

whether they can some how  benefit from taking statins  ? “

If your answer is yes ,  administer the statin  not in  low dose but in moderately high dose ! (It  appears  there is little role for low intensity statins )

There  is generally no  need to to monitor the lipid levels as long as patient is comfortable.

Disclaimer :  *Sorry , the Intention is not to  hurt the hard work of a elite panel who toiled for years to bring this much awaited guidelines on lipids and atherosclerosis! but to express my view , biased though !)

A mini research

To confirm my assumption I did a curious word search in this 85  page document .

For words statin , diet and exercise

  1. Statin appeared  814 times
  2. Diet appeared 8 times
  3. and exercise just once in the entire document !

statin search acc document statin acc aha 2013 guidelines statin acc aha 2013 guidelines 2

The importance of  diet and  body activity  which  are  the  primary   determinant of serum lipid levels is mentioned  in a cursory fashion in this  global guideline meant to control the total  cholesterol load  and atherosclerosis of our population .

Meanwhile . a drug which  acts in a  physiological  cell servicing  metabolic path way in a complex fashion  is glorified 814  times !Do  you still  think this post is is biased ?

 

 

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medical morality

Tree of life : When professional morality suffers a mortality . . . human health becomes a causality !

Greatest threat to the future of  human health is  . . .

  • Not from  exotic  infectious agents , bird flu  or  mosquito  fevers
  • Not from  epidemic of cardio vascular disease
  • Not from  thousands of  published  diseases in ICD code
  • Not from  aging population and failing  vital  organs
  • Not from  lack of availability of life saving  drugs and devices
  • Not from  lack of  hospital beds.
  • Not from  good sanitation
  • Not from  hunger and poverty
  • Not from  lack of para medical workers
  • Not from  lack of health awareness and education

But from  . . .

  • The way  health care is administered in this planet .
  • The way  noble professionals are created .
  • The way  trivial health  issues prevail over  major  health crises  that  wallop the health budgets.
  • The way by which  medical morality is systematically destroyed
  • The way   “concept of  health” is  sold  as a  buyable  commodity by insurance companies.
  • The way  medical journals churns out  junk articles in the name of research.
  • The way corporates indulge in  delirious pursuit  to  increase  bed occupancy rate of their  patient  ware houses (Also called Hospitals)
  • The  way greedy drug companies aim to increase the per capita drug consumption of  ill informed  homo-sapiens  by discovering  pseudo  drugs for pseudo  illness
  • The way   health insurance policies are misused
  • The way  rich spend billions for reconstructive  cosmetic  surgery while the poor die for want of basic medicines !

 

Link to a wonderful  article  on moral education for our kids in medical school !

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  • Diabetes , smoking , hypertension , dyslipidemia are the  leading cause of cardiac morbidity and  mortality .
  • Now air pollution the(  passive atmospheric smoking !) is threatening to be a major risk factor .
  • In fact , it has become the  official  cardiac risk factor nominated by WHO !
  • 40 %  of all deaths due to air pollution is due to cardiac events .
  • The surprise element is indoor air pollution is equally injurious .

WHO bulletin  in March 2014

air pollution and cardivascular health

The WHO assessment found the majority of air pollution deaths were linked with cardiovascular diseases.

For deaths related to outdoor pollution, it found:

  • 40% – heart disease
  • 40% – stroke
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • 6% – lung cancer
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children

For deaths related to Indoor pollution, it found:

  • 34% – stroke
  • 26% – heart disease

 

Related article from this site

A-new-coronary-risk-factor-community-smoking

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