The sudden passing of news giant, Tim Russert, yesterday of sudden cardiac death struck a blow to American consciousness.
Perhaps his hard-hitting interviewing style, while making guests squirm, made him seem invincible. But, of course, none of us is invincible. We are all vulnerable to this disease.
We should not allow Mr. Russert’s tragic death to occur without taking some lessons. The media have already resorted to interviewing prominent doctors for their opinion.
“An automated external defibrillator (AED) could have been a life-saver. AEDs should be as common as fire extinguishers.”
This is typical sleight-of-hand, medicine-is-too-complex-for-the-public-to-understand sort of rhetoric that is surely to issue from the conventionally-thinking medical people and the press. Instead, let’s cut the BS and learn the real lessons from Mr. Russert’s needless death.
It is virtually certain that:
–Mr. Russert ruptured an existing coronary atherosclerotic plaque, prompting rhythm instability, or ventricular fibrillation.
–Making automatic external defibrillators (AED) available might have Band-Aided the ventricular fibrillation, but it would not have stopped the heart attack that triggered it.
–Though full details of Mr. Russert’s health program have not been made available, it is quite likely that he was prescribed the usual half-witted and barely effective panoply of “prevention”: aspirin, statin drug, anti-hypertensive medication. Readers of The Heart Scan Blog and members of Track Your Plaque know that this conventional approach is as effective as aspirin for a fractured hip.
–It is highly unlikely that all causes of Mr. Russert’s heart disease had been identified–did he have small LDL (it’s certain he did, given his body habitus of generous tummy), Lp(a), low HDL, pre-diabetic patterns, inflammatory abnormalities, vitamin D deficiency, etc.? You can be sure little or none of this had been addressed. Was he even taking simple fish oil that reduces the likelihood of sudden cardiac death by 45%?
–Far more could have been done to have prevented Mr. Russert’s needless death. And I don’t mean the idiocy of making AED’s available in office buildings. I’m talking about preventing the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque in the first place.
Far more can be done to prevent future similar deaths among all of us.
Our jobs are to use the tragic death of Mr. Russert to help those around us learn that heart disease is identifiable and preventable. Though Mr. Russert did not stand for BS in his political commentary, he sadly probably received it in his health advice. Don’t let this happen to you or those around you.
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