Friday, June 13, 2008

Fifty-eight is not that old

News today that
Tim Russert, 58, host of NBC's "Meet the Press" and the network's Washington bureau chief, collapsed and died at his office today.
While the cause of death has not yet been established (or announced), there's wild speculation that Mr. Russert suffered from a heart attack.

From Peggy Peck, Executive Editor of MedPage Today:
A statement from Russert's physician, internist Michael Newman, M.D., indicated that resuscitation was begun on the scene and was continued unsuccessfully by paramedics and at Sibley Memorial Hospital. The cause of death is unknown, he said, and an autopsy will be performed.

Douglas Zipes, M.D., of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology at Indiana University, said he could not comment specifically on the Russert case, but he speculated that the most likely cause was ventricular fibrillation, which is a shockable rhythm.

If that were the case, an automated external defibrillator (AED) could have been a life-saver.

Dr. Zipes, who is a spokesperson for the American College of Cardiology, said that Russert had a classic profile for ventricular fibrillation: "male, age 58, slightly, but not terribly overweight."

Stress is also considered a risk factor, but Dr. Zipes said it would be difficult for an outsider to gauge Russert's stress level. "One man's stress is another man's dessert," he said.

The take-home message, said Dr. Zipes, is that "AEDs should be as common as fire extinguishers."
Perhaps this will be a call that energizes people to demand AEDs in the workplace.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that AEDs should be much more common place. I purchased two Philips HeartStart defibrillators and I gave one of them to my parents.