Am I Having A Heart Attack? Test Self At Home, Then Come To Psych Floor.

Am I having a heart attack?  From the files of the strange and unusual comes this home self test kit for myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack.  For the lay people out there, a heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle stops, usually because of a blockage in the arteries around the heart (the coronary arteries).  It's what happened to Bill Clinton, although his heart muscle didn't die, as it likely had collateral blood flow from other arteries.

When blood flow stops the heart muscle dies.  When the heart muscle cells die, they  release compounds into the blood stream which can then be detected on blood draws.  That is the basis for detecting a heart attack by drawing blood.  There are some compounds that are specific to the heart, such as troponins that will only go up when the heart muscle is dying.  Other enzymes, such as the CK go up with any muscle damage, including the heart.  That is the basis of this new self test kit for heart attack testing from China Sky One Medical that tries to answer the Am I having a heart attack question, from the comforts of your own home.    It was approved in China in 2007 and recently received European Union clearance as well.  Read more at  medGadget.  I can just see it now.

Scenario #1:  Patient watching Oprah.  Patient starts having chest pain.  Patient gets out her home heart attack self test kit.  Patient lances finger and places blood onto strip.  Plus sign shows up.  Patient can't remember if this was a pregnancy test or the heart attack kit.  Patient goes to the emergency room stating they are either pregnant or they are having a heart attack.  Patient gets triage into the psychiatry wing and the hospitalist gets called to see a "soft admission" for psychosis.

Scenario #2:  Patient watching Oprah.  Patient having chest pain.  Patient gets out her home heart attack self test kit.  Patient lances finger and places blood onto strip.  Negative sign shows up.  Patient refuses to believe she isn't having a life threatening heart attack.  She does it again.  It's still negative.  Patient angry now that she isn't having a heart attack and decides to go to the emergency room anyway because she says she's having a heart attack.  Patient is now angry that nobody believes she's having a heart attack and strikes out at the nurses.  Hospitalist gets asked to come see a soft  hospital admission for psychosis.  

I can't see these kits offering any benefit to patients.  For hospitalists, it's job security.

Facebook humor:

-->Just rounded on a post-MI patient reading 50 Shades of Grey. I ordered a crash cart to bedside at all times.

This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.
 

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