Monday, August 20, 2007

The View from this side of the Mask.

Let me start by saying: Do Not send hate mail. The following is controversial, it is My opinion, and I'm not saying you have to agree.

The subject is obesity, fluffiness, plus-size, whatever we want to call it. More precisely it is about what it does to our health. It is not however, about heart disease, diabetes, or Syndrome X. It's about something simpler than that.

We had a young (33 year old) lady come to the ER. She was out with her boyfriend doing stuff in town, she started to have chest pain, he drove her to the ER. He chose the ER because she's never sick and has no known health problems so it scared him when she got sick. By the time he got there (less than 12 minutes from her first complaint), she had stopped breathing. The crew ran out, snatched her up, and found Cardiac Arrest. Due to her body size 300+ pounds they were unable to successfully defibrillate her. Despite multiple attempts at multiple joules.

Now this is no slacker hospital. They have one of the best heart programs in the country. So they rushed her to the Cardiac Cath lab in an attempt to dissolve the clot that had caused coronary attack. They bypassed CT because she was too heavy for the table.

They get her to Cath, and are initally unable to insert the catheter because of the size of her apron (that little part of the belly that starts as jelly, becomes a pooch, and eventually folds over to a fat roll.) By having one person hold up her belly, the doctor was able to make the incision and insert the wire. Here we were defeated again, because of her size, the radiation was insufficient to adequately image what they needed to see. If they turned it up they risked burning her tissue and causing irreversible damage.

At this point, defeat had to be accepted. She had gone too long without circulation.

With all the fabulous technology available we were unable to save this young, vibrant, pretty lady. And she left a boyfriend who has to go to the daycare and explain it to her 2 children.


Jenny said...

I was just thinking of this subject on the way to work this morning. I'm all for loving your body no matter what size you are, but people don't realize how being obese can *literally* kill you.

Jennifer said...

Oh no... That is a tragedy for her and her poor children.

Zonda said...

So very sad, she was so young.

I work in an Special Procedures lab and I know exactly how this inhibits helping people, very frustrating!

melanie said...

So sad. I wonder when people will start to understand that the American lifestyle is allowing us to choose death, and so many are willing to do so in the name of "luxury".

Shelly in Omaha said...

It is a tragedy to loose such a young and vital person in the prime of their life. However,research has proven that young people(ie. those that are younger than 40) have a higher incidence of death from a heart attack or blood clot due to the lack of ancillary blood vessels that we all develop as we age. This explains why so many younger people die suddenly or for "no apparent reason".

JessaLu said...

So sad