17 June 2008

More on Russert

By now it has been widely reported elsewhere that Tim Russert did indeed die from a ruptured plaque in his Left Anterior Descending coronary artery -- a classic "widowmaker's" MI. Interestingly, CNN reports that NBC did have an AED on site, and that it was not used, because DC EMS showed up at the same time, and that the presenting rhythm for EMS was V Fib. Not a surprise, really.

Medics tried to revive Russert

The only take home message I derive from the case is that stable coronary disease is never stable in the setting of new-onset symptoms. When a small, non-occlusive plaque ruptures and develops an occlusive thrombus, even someone with a recent negative angiogram can infarct and die. Which is why I have a low threshold for admitting patients with chest pain, even those who have been studied recently.

Oz: [...] that creates this referred pain that in cardiology and cardiosurgery we recognize to be angina.

"Cardiosurgery"? Who the hell calls it "cardiosurgery"? I've never heard that term before. It's like those misguided buffoons who call Emergency Medicine, "Emergentology." Get with it.


  1. I'm rather curious what sort of pieces Mr Russert was working on before he suddenly died without warning at a relatively young age in good health. Sounds mighty suspicious to me when a leading political journalist dies suddenly under strange circumstance during an election year. At least he didn't receive anthrax in the mail weaponized at a US military lab in Maryland the way Tom Brokaw and Tom Daschle did.

  2. Russert wasn't much of a journalist in that sort of way. He didn't break news so much a make news, if you follow the distinction. He would have people on and get them to say newsworthy things, or to use his show as a visible platform to push their message (as Cheney liked to do). I can't recall ever seeing an original piece of traditional investigative journalism from the man.

    Though who knows, maybe he was going to interview Putin...

  3. I kind of like Emergentology, if you go by the theory that calling anything ending in -ologist increases respectability score. Which is not to say that it isn't stupid that Americans act that way.

  4. Emergentology? Does that mean I can call the field of Infectious Diseases "IDology?"

    I once heard someone quip about how if the orthopedists were called "orthopods" then we should call the gastroenterologists "gastropods."


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