13 June 2008

Holy crap

Tim Russert collapsed and died at the studio today. He was 58.

Really sad.

He had apparently just returned from Italy. NBC says the cause of death was a heart attack, but I've gotta put my money on a PE.


An obviously distraught (but professional) Tom Brokaw announces the news.


  1. I was just getting ready for work when I heard the news. I still live in Buffalo, and my husband went to the same High School he did (many years later of course). It has dominated the local news scene, and is the second significant political loss this city has dealt with in the last month.

    There is no one in the world who could replace him.

  2. Also, my husband just posted a tribute on our blog.

  3. So do you think it was a PE because they had just returned from a long trip, or do you have another reason for suspecting PE?

    Obviously medical curiosity here. This is a tragic event for his family, colleagues, and fans.

  4. The Vegas odds would still be on MI unless he had protein C and S deficiency, prostate CA, and a known untreated DVT

  5. Not sure that I've ever shed tears over the loss of a "celebrity" before... this would be a first... so sad.

  6. I agree with the PE call. First the whole "collapsed and died" thing doesn't really sound like an MI (perhaps sudden cardiac arrest, but that's also unlikely).

    Recent transatlantic flight in a somewhat obese person anyway? Yes probably a DVT that embolized. That wouldn't take a coagulopathy.

  7. Geeze I'm an insensitive clod. Now that I've talked about him being an obese candidate for PE I should mention that it is a tragedy that he died and I do feel for his family.

  8. I was at the gym when I saw the broadcast on CNN! So sad. He spoke at my graduation from Providence College in 1999; Sunday mornings will not be the same.
    We thought perhaps a PE also, given that he'd just returned from Italy, but apparently the autopsy just showed cardiomyopathy and an MI.
    May Tim Russert rest in peace.

  9. dan-just curious why you consider sudden cardiac arrest unlikely? the syndrome occurs unpredictably and is more lethal than pulmonary embolism, although certainly in total the incidence of pe (detected and undetected) is probably higher than that of sca. the latest numbers i saw were 650k pe, 400k sca. given the highly unpredictable nature and the age/gender and what we know of his medical history, it seems just as likely as a lethal pe. obviously i have no way of knowing. jmo.

  10. I got the email update from the NYTimes on my PDA when it happened and gasped, what a shock. He was one of the few reporters/commentators on Cable who maintained some integrity in their work.

    Certainly a loss for the News in addition to the people who loved him.

  11. So they did decide it was an MI...

    Well, just goes to show the fears of telemedicine are overblown :P My speculation about the PE versus SCA was just based on the relative incidence of SCA versus PE, nothing fancy (apparently misguided).

    At least his family's taken care of. I went to get his book for my dad for father's day and I got the impression that every copy in the U.S. had sold in the last 3 days :P Jeeze.

  12. Latest news I read stated new clot found in the LAD as the cause of death.


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