General Cardiology

New tools to rescue one from heart attacks…

Any doctor who tries to counsel patients on the importance of making good lifestyle choices has heard these oft repeated phrases.


“I don’t eat french fries.”

“I just smoke a little.”

“I really do not eat that much.”

“I do not have time to exercise.”

“My blood pressure is always better at home.”

“I am not that angry.”

Well, there are more, but you get the picture.

These phrases are markedly resistant to my tired cajoling, but perhaps some pictorial evidence may chip away at this granite-like wall of excuses.

This enormous clot was “sucked” from a coronary artery of a patient who presented with acute MI.  (In the wee hours of the AM, by a doctor with a family and a day job too.)

I have been known to refer to my interventional (plumbing) colleagues as “squishers.” They see a blockage, they squish it and then prop it open with a stent.  Voila.

Now my industrious plumbing friends have a new pipe cleaning tool: a “sucker.”

And there is good data to suggest that sucking clot out of an acutely closed artery is a smart strategy. Although, non-blogging serious journalists will use terms like “remove” and “aspirate” the clot, it is really more accurate to use the simpler verb, to suck.

Even so, semantics are semantics, we will not give in to the temptation to re-nickname the “squishers,” with the new moniker, “suckers.”

No, this surely will not work.


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