01/05/2006: Does this qualify as "iatrogenic"?
(Go look it up; it's good both to own a dictionary and to know how to use it. :-) )
An interesting article in the NY Times points out that the "huge stroke" suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been complicated, if not outright caused, by medical intervention intended to alleviate the smaller stroke he suffered last month:
The huge stroke suffered last night by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel, caused by uncontrolled bleeding into the brain, is likely to be devastating and nearly impossible to treat because Mr. Sharon, 77, is taking blood thinners, neurologists say.It's things like this which lead me to believe that you just can't cheat fate--when it's your time, it's your time....
Although Mr. Sharon was taken to surgery to try to remove the blood pouring into his skull, it was a desperate move, neurologists said.
Hemorrhages in the brain while the patient is taking blood thinners "are usually devastating events," said Dr. Matthew E. Fink, chief of the Division of Stroke and Critical Care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "This sounds really terrible."
Statistically, the likelihood of death is greater than 80 percent, Dr. Fink said.
"They are trying to save his life with surgery, but this is an extremely hazardous procedure," Dr. Fink said. "The goal is to save his life, but there is not much evidence that it will preserve neurological function."
Mr. Sharon was placed on blood-thinning medicines in the last two weeks to treat a different type of stroke - one that was much smaller - which he suffered on Dec. 18. In many respects his stroke yesterday was a medical complication of his earlier treatment.
Len on 01.05.06 @ 07:19 AM CST