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Another Reason to Lose Weight - YIKES!

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:09pm
Like many of you, I read a tremendous volume of online medical journals trying to keep abreast of the latest advances and atrocities in heart medicine. In yet another classic, "I don't know whether to laugh or cry" moment I stumbled across this report
Extremely obese a cath lab problem: Some turned away because of weight restrictions on tables

In what has to be the one of the most incredulous statements ever uttered by a doctor, lead investigator Dr. Thomas Vanhecke (William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI) offered, "It is a paradox. New research is showing us that patients are dying younger with more cardiovascular disease, and yet there are no cath lab guidelines for how to treat those who are morbidly or massively obese."

Is the good doctor worried about people getting fat and having heart attacks at an alarming rate at progressively earlier ages? No, he dithers over the fact there are no guidelines on how to treat morbidly obese patients. Hell, wouldn't want to smush any of that shiny new cath lab equipment or have the guy topple over on you! Where was the good doctor when these folks were shoving their faces full of cream pie? Here's a paradox for you doc, if not utter irony. Can you imagine being so overweight that when the inevitable angina or heart attack comes the hospital might turn you away because they fear you will break the cath lab table?!

Vanhecke also said that when faced with obese patients they are typically told to exercise and diet before they can undergo the procedure. Huh?! I'm having a heart attack and you want me to go exercise for six months then come back? Yowza!

Now, I hate to go off the deep end (not really) but if you link to the actual article you will see the quotes I lifted are not radically out of context. I've had my fun at the doctor's expense over some (ahem) rather dubious statements and it is time to get serious. These types of pronouncements speak loudly about the mindset of traditional medicine whose position appears to be "let people get morbidly ill while we invest in better "guidelines" and technologies to fix them." This might give you an inkling as to why medicine is becoming so expensive.

At the risk of being accused of using bad puns, what ever happened to the old axiom, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?" Perhaps 500 pounds in some cases.

Excuse me while I finish my Diet Coke!

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