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Posts Tagged ‘jama’

One of the greatest medical sermon of our times  is   “Doctors must   constantly update their knowledge , Continuing medical  education is as sacred as their profession  !  If you are not updating your knowledge you cease to a doctor “

It is fashionable , but true  to state  modern medicine lacks humane  care . Modern medicine  is  challenged by a huge  technological ,  commercial  onslaught  where common sense takes  the back seat

Hence , doctors need to renew not only  their  academic competence   but also  their ethical  fitness  every  year !

Aggression  could be the other  name for  modern medical care . For every  new  invention , treatment   or guideline that  is  approved  an equal number  is shelved after few months or years  for safety reasons.

Bulk of  medical updates  for  current age physicians  is nothing , but asking   them to forget  all those wrong things that has been meticulously uploaded in their brains in the recent past  ( Recall the classical story of drug eluting stents )

If this is the  case . . . then  . . .  what for  we  are  updating ?   and  for what  we are  learning and forgetting  ?  and  . . . how frequent we need to forget ?  Of course  , there is a big chunk of   human tribe  who  can never master the art of forgetting ! Some mistakes are permanently etched in their terra byte hard disks .

Is there a place  for backdating and discontinuing  medical  education  ?

What  man- kind needs  at times of  medical  crisis  ,  is  not  the current  treatment  but the correct  treatment    .It is our duty  to  find  all those  trustworthy  drugs  & treatment modalities  that were  sent  to  the gallows by the modern medical forces   for various reasons !

If  some of  the gems in  medicine are  left behind in  past  “time domain”  ,  it is  mandatory  for us  to go  back in time and   catch it , adopt it and disseminate it !

Further ,  whenever  the  hyped   “medical updating sessions ”  turns out to be  synonymous with adding nonsense (It is  becoming all too common these days   !) we should resist   it by all means !

For many . . . Hippocrates and his medicine sounds dirty now !

If  only we back-date  our knowledge   .  .  .

Todays  youngsters  can learn a secret that liver enlargement can be diagnosed easily  with their  hands ,  without  waiting for a  CT scan report !

If only we back-date  our   knowledge  . . .

We can realise  Aminophylline can save so many  lives of cardiac  failure  , which  our newer inotropic agents are struggling to accomplish .

If only we  back- date  our knowledge  . . .

We can calmly manage  acute MI with lignocaine  even in a country side  .  Amiodarone unfairly replaced  this  efficient  anti  VT  molecule  for no academic reasons !

If only we back- dat our knowledge  . . .

We  can  advice simple non pharmacological intervention for  stage 1 HT   than prescribing the  glamorous  sartan molecules  form a  multinational  ARB shoppe.

If only we back- date our knowledge  . . .

We can  promptly recognise  cardiac failure  without  ordering  for the error prone   BNP . Back dating also  helps us to under stand  that post infarct angina is a  glaring sign  for presence of   viable myocardium  and prevent us from undertaking a  2000 $ PET  excursion !

If only we back- date our knowledge  . . .

We can  send  all our uncomplicated , asymptomatic   STEMI  patients ( in class 1 )  straight to  their  home rather than to cath lab  play grounds !

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It was those great  years  1974 -1976.  Even before the concept of  PTCA was born, few  committed cardiologists  of New  Orleans were on a mission. Closing the ASD in cath lab. They  achieved it successfully with a umbrella device.

 

But 35 years later as on 2010 ,the concept though proven still struggles to prove itself.

Link to related article .

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IABP is thought to be the  savior   when  PCI is done in severely compromised left ventricle and  in other  high risk angioplasties. Without verifying the facts,   routine use of this device became rampant  in cath labs around  the world in the last decade .

Everyone strongly believed , IABP  plays a major role in sustaining coronary  perfusion  during complex PCIs.  Then  the  favorable experience  started  pouring in,  from many cath labs  without IABP  support .   Common  sense struck us ,  and some one asked this question .

 

Should we routinely insert IABP in all  cases of high risk PCI. ?

The  study , published in  JAMA 2010  convincingly  answers  this  question


Can you do a high risk PCI without IABP back up facility ?

In academic sense “No” .

IABP service is not available in many cath labs in India for various reasons .But it does  not  become a contraindication to attempt PCI on  them .At least , we should have  facility to shift the patient  to a nearby advanced cardiac care centre  in case the need arises.

Final message

In plain language (Politeness removed !)  routine  prophylactic  IABP is not only useless ,  it could also  carry a  danger of access site ,  procedure  , expertise (Lack of  it ! ) related  hazards. Remember the Swan Ganz story !

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/304/8/867

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Pessimism, from the Latin pessimus (worst), is a state of mind which negatively colors the perception of life, especially with regard to future events.

Understanding pessimism is not that simple  . Some people argue  optimism   represents a strong mind while  a pessimism  is the domain of the weak . But it is not necessarily true.  Both pessimist and optimist are unreal , and playing the dangerous game of predicting the future. So realism is the answer .

In this era of information highways , commercial exploitation of science ,  our thought process is grossly determined by our perception of events.We hardly have an intention or time to analyse our thought process.

  • An optimist  ( Rather , unregulated optimist ! ) is a person who welcomes  any growth good or bad.*
  • A pessimist  is  a  person who welcomes only good growth.*

So how to identify good growth ? That is the million dollar question!

  • Many of the  optimists may not  bother about the final outcome of a treatment *
  • A pessimist bothers only about that .
  • An optimist  rarely asks questions, blindly accepts every thing !
  • A pessimist never believes any thing !

Actually the fundamental principle of scientific medicine lies in proving the null hypothesis null and void.Any treatment is useless until proved other wise .  So pessimist can be argued to follow true science , while  many of  the hardcore  optimists are blind believers ..

*It may be  a harsh   way of  interpreting an optimist  but  uncontrolled optimism  has played havoc in our  patients like many of the failed treatments (Some of them released prematurely into patient domain   has  killed many lives  . Power of positive thinking should be within the  realms of scientific feasibility !

So in  our  journey   to  conquer human health ,   we   may  proceed with  an optimistic mind and  a pessimistic eyes !

This understanding is all the more important in this era of contaminated science .It is a well known fact ,  now last 50 years of  planet earth has inflicted the maximum damage  to ourselves  than our ancestors did in 5000 years. That’s why we are compelled to meet at Copenhagen .(We never learn from our mistakes, that’s a different story !) .

There is definite and urgent  need for world summit  on  cleansing the medical science from  the clutches  of commerce  and ignorance . A medical green house effect, with dangerous holes in health care  is imposing on us (Another pessimistic thought . . . of course in the interest of human kind !)

World health organization ,  a sleeping giant has to be awakened on this issue


Final message:

Mankind has evolved over many millenniums ,  probably with a sole  purpose of living ,  that is reproduction and propagation of our genre without harming the environment and other species.

Unrestricted  and unregulated growth of any kind is dangerous we call it as malignancy in pathology .In science , we tend to call it a” great future ”

Our  sixth sense*  has  outgrown  miserably  out of  reality  , as have we decided to take on the nature and GOD .Now , many developing country men do not believe in death .They are fighting a losing battle against the God. And they suffer with escalating health costs of keeping the elderly ,  alive who are  knocking at the doors of heaven or hell . The same countries,  which deny funds for curable illnesses of the poor is a different story altogether !

The principle of modern medicine  would ideally  be

  • Reduce human suffering irrespective of economic status
  • Curing a illness if there is a cure
  • Prolonging life if there is useful purpose
  • Allow a good quality death if there is no cure.
  • Most importantly  , prey to god give us strength and capacity to identify which is good and which is bad for our patients  .

Read and learn for a  complete guide on optimism and pessimism

* It  is  important to recognise , the same sixth sense  has   made it possible to share our views through a great tool of  Internet  . So we should not be against the growth of science but against the misuses and wrong interpretations of it .

Pessimism

Optimism

The traditional characters  of  a pessimist

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  1. Do 64slice MDCT  in all patients who has  a coronary event and follow it up with catheter based CAG.
  2. Use liberally the new biochemical marker ,  serum  B-naturetic peptide (BNP) to diagnose cardiac failure in lieu of basal auscultation.
  3. Advice  cardiac resynchronisation therapy in all patients  who are in class 4 cardiac failure with a wide qrs complex .
  4. As it is may be considered a  crime to administer empirical  heparin, do ventilation perfusion scan in all cases with suspected pulmonary embolism.
  5. Do serial CPK MB and troponin levels in all patients with well  established  STEMI .
  6. Open up all occluded coronary arteries irrespective  of symptoms and muscle viability.
  7. Consider  ablation of pulmonary veins as an  initial strategy in  patients with recurrent idiopathic AF. If it is not feasible  atleast occlude their left atrial appendage with watch man  device.
  8. Never tell  your patients   the  truths  about the  diet , exercise &  lifestyle modification (That can  cure most of the early hypertension) . Instead encourage the  use of  newest ARBs  or even  try direct renin antoagonists   to treat all those patients in  stage 1 hypertension.
  9. Avoid regular heparin in acute coronary syndromes   as  it  is a disgrace to use it  in today’s world. Replace all prescription of heparin with  enoxaparine  or  still better ,  fondaparinux  whenever  possible.
  10. Finally never discharge  a  heftily  insured patient   until  he completes all the  cardiology investigations  that are available in your hospital  .

Coming soon :  10 more ways to  increase cost of cardiology care . . .beyond common man’s reach

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cardiologist Is he a person who puts  a   metal coil  coated with a synthetic fungus   in  a   incidentally  detected  block  inside a  small coronary artery and sends the bill to the Insurance company ?

Is he a person in a  cosmopolitan  hospital  who opens up a    chronically   closed  coronary artery , in an asymptomatic patient  and  live telecasts  his achievement trans continentally ?

Is he a person who   checks in by  the early morning flight and  puts multiple wires in  an  aged   patient   with  class 3 heart failure and  make  him walk  20 meters extra at a cost of  1000$ / Meter ?

Is he a person living in   Wall   street  ,   who   looks  for variety of holes In  the heart and trying to occlude  it  with   exotic   devicespci ptca stent

Is he the unknown   physician   who Intervenes in the natural history of Rheumatic heart disease   and arrests   immune mediated   valve damage by giving the  monthly injections  penicillin in remote parts of our country ?

Is he the person   who   Intervenes to prevent young   persons   from  smoking and help maintain  their  coronary endothelium  enriched with nitric oxide  & arrest  the coronary epidemic ?

cardiologist 2

Is he the small town doctor  who  Intervenes  to treat a breathless cardiac failure patient  with  digoxin and frusemide  and  dramatically alleviate the  symptoms and  prolong the  life of our poor country men?

Is she the village health nurse from an inaccessible health  centre  located in a  hilly terrain ,  Intervening  successfully, by   pulling out  live babies  from  severely anemic pregnant  mothers with failing hearts ?

pci ptca cardiologist coronary angiograms

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Fundamental principle  of  human biological system is to live in harmony with nature and environment.Each cell  has a unique reaction  when it comes into contact with  external  material. This reaction can be acute or chronic  ,   local or systemic. The most severe form of allergy is called anaphylaxis  that can result in instantaneous loss of life. There  is a whole gamut of disorders  that  resulted  in a  separate  speciality called allergic medicine .

Further ,the transplantation  science have   taught us  an  organ or cell can be rejected at any point of time after implantation (Hyperacute -chronic) .With advancement of science we have started implanting a variety of devices  with complex metallurgy ,inside human body, metal clips, prosthesis, valves, wires, etc .How the body handles them .The consequences can be a mild reaction to major ones occasionally.

Consider ,a local allergy due to a orthopedic prosthesis  in one of the leg bones  is far less serious than a metal within a coronary artery  irritating the intima .

Remember hypersensitivity reactions can be severe . This lady reacted  like this to a sandal slipper -A  fiery red  infiltration

contact dermatits stent allergy pci coronary

Imagine  if a stented coronary artery react like this what would be the possible consequence ?

In susceptible  individuals  , can a metal cause

  • Intimal hyperemia
  • Intimal induration
  • Intimo-medial edema  following stent deployment

pci stent coronary angiogram thrombosis des

Why drug eluting stents are more prone for hypersensitivity ?

The answer is simple , while metal allergy is a comparatively rare phenomenon, the drugs we  coat and the polymers used are  many fold likely to result in hypersensitivity reaction.

While  the world is worried  more  about penicillin , sulpha allergy which occurs in 1 in 100000 ,  we tend to ignore the metal and drug  reactions within  the tender coronary arteries.

stent des rejection virmani  pci

What is  the clinical expression of  stent hypersensitivity ?

It is  often a coronary event in the acute phase and restenosis in chronic phase.

How much of acute stent thrombosis is related to stent allergy mediated reaction ?

The exact incidence  will  never be known. It could be high. Whenever a sudden unexpected early stent occlusion can be a suspect .

Is stent allergy a local reaction or systemic reaction ?

It is most often local .The drugs the stent elute can elicit a systemic reaction occasionally.

So what can be done to prevent this complication ?

Drug companies in it’s  package regularly  include the warning  message ! What does it imply to have a caution  on the covers ? .This warning simply represent about our ignorance in this issue. We presume it is a minor problem.

pci stent thrombosis stent allergy metal

Questions unanswered

  1. How does a cardiac patient knows whether he is hypersensitive to stainless steel or nickel ?
  2. Is it practical to have a stent allergic test in every patient before PCI ?
  3. Is routine administration of corticosteroids for few days after PCI an answer ?

Reference

R.Virmani , circulation 2004

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/109/6/701?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=stent+%27allergy%22+&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

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