Sunday, February 24, 2008

Patient Is a Virtue

Diagnosis: Patient Is a Virtue
Published: February 24, 2008
When faced with a tricky set of symptoms, making a determination — and doing it quickly — saves a life.

(How lucky for the patient that he was also a doctor!)

"...He explained his thinking to the patient, who listened, nodding. As he moved toward the door, the doctor-patient couldn’t resist adding one more possibility to the list: “Could I have dissected my aorta?” he asked. The aorta is the thick, muscular blood vessel that delivers oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Sometimes the inner lining of the artery can get torn — often from a spike in blood pressure. When that happens, blood pours into the tear, creating a separate channel between the inner layers of the vessel and the outer muscular wall. This new channel can compress the arteries leading off the aorta, starving the tissues they normally feed."

Books on Doctors as Patients and a few on the Doctor-Patient Relationship