End of life care – A great American tragedy.

“Why don’t we die the way we say we want to die? In part because we say we want good deaths but act as if we won’t die at all.” Katy Butler, WSJ There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding right now in nearly every hospital in this nation. Aggressive life-prolonging care of the elderly too […]

Day 4 ESC 2013 — Female gender and AF, patient selection for CRT and a Dutch cycling adventure

On the last day of ESC2013 I attended a press conference entitled Update in Rhythmology. The purpose was to highlight four rhythm-related studies released at ESC2103. The most noteworthy of the four abstracts involved gender-related issues in atrial fibrillation therapy. French researchers used a 1.6 million patient database (including 1200 French GPs) to come up […]

Day 3 ESC2013 — Longevity of Tour de France cyclists, meeting old friends, social media, and big plans.

Two EP docs from across the world.

A general rule about writing a story is to lead with the important stuff. I’ve reviewed each of my ESC2013 updates, and as it turns out, each day I have led with the folly. Sorry about that. I’m going to continue the trend. If you had a blog, you could do this too. Before I’m […]

Day 1 ESC — Cardiac Pacing, MRIs and RV lead position


I thought I loved Germany, but this is ridiculous. I love Amsterdam! Yesterday, Michael O’Riordan and I decided to embrace the Dutch mode of transportation. Mike is a real journalist who works for theHeart.org. He’s also a fellow endurance athlete. We got off the congested tram yesterday and decided to rent bikes. This, my friends, […]

The LifeVest — How much bubble wrap is too much…for LIfe?

Some facts: No caregiver wants his or her patient to die needlessly. Sudden cardiac death remains the number one killer of humans. The arrhythmia that causes sudden death occurs unpredictably. One minute you are fine and the next you are–in the absence of a shock–dead. When cardiac arrest occurs outside a hospital, or say, a […]

EuroPace 2013 Day 3 — Good news with ICD therapy — New post up at theHeart.org


Good sleep finally found me. Nine hours total. That changes everything. I missed the free bus but that was OK because I got the best cab driver ever. He drove me to the fair two days ago. His Mercedes is spotless, his English good and his willingness to teach about Greece was welcome. I shared […]

Day 2 EuroPace 2013 — Two new posts up over at theHeart.org

Google image from StopAF.org

It must be the time change. Sound sleep is eluding me. The good news about waking at 0330 is you can get serious work done. The bad news is doing the (involuntary) nod during a nice lecture on molecular biologic causes of atrial fibrillation this afternoon. I really did want to get that whole intracellular […]

Heart Rhythm Society Meeting 2013 — Hyde Park Lecture

photo 2

Hi Everyone, This may be the longest I have ever gone between posts. As all bloggers do, I will tell you the reason. I was preparing for my invited lecture at HRS 2013. It was a Hyde Park Talk. This means you stand in one of the busiest parts of the convention, and just start […]

New post up at theHeart.org — The ethics of ICD decision-making

I’ve got a good one for you. Who is the better doctor? Is it the caregiver who–by whatever means–gets her patient on the best treatment, or, is it the doc who communicates the options most clearly? I ask because the Institute of Medicine has made shared-decision making (or patient-centered care) a major focus of quality […]