A less invasive procedure to open the heart’s clogged blood supply has exploded, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports.
Percutaneous coronary intervention — also known as angioplasty, balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty — is performed when a doctor inserts a balloon-tipped catheter from an artery in the groin to an artery in the heart. The doctor inflates the balloon, compressing the plaque that lines the artery, widening it to increase blood flow. Doctors also often implant a metal stent that keeps the artery open.
The goal is the have the patient’s artery “inflated” within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. This is called the “door-to-balloon time” and improves survival rates considerably.
PCI, the agency reports, “is now used nearly three times more often than the older and more invasive coronary artery bypass graft surgery.”
The number of angioplasties from 1993 to 2005 rose from slightly more than 400,000 a year to 800,000 a year.
Heart bypass surgeries rose from 344,000 to 426,000 a year between 1993 and 1997, and then declined to 278,000 a year by 2005.
Although hospital stays in 2005 for angioplasty are much shorter than they were in 1993 (on average 2.7 days instead of 4.6 days), hospital charges have increased by more than 50 percent during the period, rising from $31,300 to $48,000 (adjusted for inflation).
With 1.1 million hospital stays in 2005, coronary artery disease was the third most common reason for hospitalization after childbirth and pneumonia. It was the second leading reason for men, and the seventh for women.
Why should you care?
Because these procedures don’t require surgery and are part of a series of health care standards pushed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and others. CMS ties extra reimbursement to submission of data for its reporting, so most hospitals, looking for extra reimbursement, comply. At some point this information likely will be mandated.
Either way, it’s a click away. Visit www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov to see how your nearby hospital(s) rate. Take it with a grain of salt, because PCI isn’t for everyone, and meeting the 90-minute window is a work in progress, but it’s still a useful tool.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer
Advocates have assembled to fight Hollywood portrayals of organ donation they say are inaccurate and end up discouraging the practice.
Good for them. Organ donation rates are pitifully low. I proudly have the box checked on my driver’s license and, while I am uncomfortable thinking about the possibility of my organs being taken from my body after death, I can’t imagine a better gift to give someone.
That’s the clincher: the organ donation multiplier allows one person to save or improve several others’ lives. Listen to the stories of organ donors’ families and receipients’ families — they’re heartbreaking.
“About 20 million Americans tuned in for an October 2005 episode of ABC’s medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in which a woman is prematurely declared brain dead. When an intern discovers she is still responsive to stimuli, a literal tug-of-war over the patient breaks out, and the transplant team chides the hospital staff for its resistance.
“Such inaccurate and negative portrayals of organ donation and transplantation are surprisingly common on TV and feed the public’s fears about the process, according to new research,” an American Medical Association story reported.
“Now, a coalition of dozens of organ procurement and transplant organizations, Donate Life Hollywood, is urging TV producers and writers to think twice before taking creative license in telling stories that could indirectly hurt the more than 96,000 patients waiting for organ transplants,” the AMA reported.
The campaign “targets a ‘top 10′ list of inaccurate storylines that recur frequently on TV,” such as the idea that Americans are killed for their organs.
“Other common lapses include misrepresenting brain death and how organs are allocated,” the AMA reported.
The goal, the AMA reported, is to meet with entertainment executives to explain the importance of accurately portraying organ donation and to offer expertise.
Now, the industry may say successful (as opposed to contested) organ donation can’t provide the inherent dramatic tension needed for TV (although few shows ever really capture this, but I’m a TV cynic). My response, as I’ve seen firsthand, is to suggest spending a night at a trauma center.
A family, inconsolable at the loss of their teenage son/daughter, is approached by a social worker, a compassionate, tough person who already has spoken to grieving, scared relatives of several accident and disease victims today. The social worker — who has one of the hospital’s tougher jobs — or an organ donation liaison — someone — asks if the family would consider organ donation. The family agrees.
The body is quickly prepped and the person’s organs removed and shipped on dry ice to a nearby hospital. A person who has been on a waiting list for months receives the person’s liver. He or she is ecstatic, having been given a reprieve on dying. He or she will be on a cocktail of immune system-repressing medications until death, but at least death is less likely to be around the corner.
The victim’s family agrees to meet the person who received the donated organs. They, and the deceased, will forever be heroes the person whose life was saved.
Sounds like real drama to me. But what do I know. I’m a writer, not a TV producer.
And, while we’re on the subject, WRITE A LIVING WILL. Just do it. Specify your preferences on life-prolonging care. It will save your family potential heartache.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer
An unusual project earlier this year at the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City has produced a Guinness World Record.
On Valentine’s Day in February, volunteers from the hospital, community, and the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Children who had made a pipe-cleaner chain — with individual links in the form of hearts — encircled the hospital on NE 13. In fact, the pipe-cleaner “Chain of Love” surrounded the hospital three times, with enough left over to encircle the building at least three more times. So, the official Guinness World Record for the longest chain of pipe cleaners now is at 10,459 feet, or nearly 2 miles — and the Guinness record is in Oklahoma City. Hospital leaders recently were notified of the official record. Helping with the project to show love and support for pediatric cancer patients were school and church groups; University of Oklahoma sororities and fraternities; and an OU College class. Patients, family members and volunteers worked for months to twist thousands of pipe cleaners into the chain.
Jim Killackey, medical writer.
Phones have been making headlines a lot recently. My cell phone made my personal headlines last week for “Most ridiculous bill ever,” but that’s beside the point.
Last week, a New Jersey teen, George Hotz, hacked Apple’s iPhone to prove that it can be interfaced with other wireless networks. As a bribe — I mean, reward — for his ingenious hack, is trading him a car for his phone. Not that he won’t be able to hack another iPhone. I’m sure Apple will be sure to put tracking devices on any iPhone anyone he has ever met purchases.
The same wireless network Hotz hacked into using the iPhone, T-Mobile, has been rewarded the honor of most dropped calls in a recent JD Power report. Sad news for AT&T, though: They have yanked their “fewest dropped calls” campaign since the company is falling near the bottom of a “Best cell service” report by Consumer Reports.
I guess I’ll pay that T-Mobile cell phone bill gladly, knowing that teen boys can hack my network using their iPhones while having fewer dropped calls than other networks.
-Lindsay Goodier, NewsOK.com Editor
It’s time to see how much attention you’ve been paying to the news in the past week or so. From The Oklahoman’s news copy editors and designers, here’s a quiz:
1. A Marine investigator recommended dismissal of murder and assault charges against Edmond native Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, who was involved in a controversial incident where?
a) Baghdad, Iraq
b) Haditha, Iraq
c) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
d) Kirkuk, Iraq
2. Oklahoma’s state treasurer will make $100 million more available in certificates of deposit to state banks to ease liquidity concerns following recent floods. Who is Oklahoma’s state treasurer?
a) Brenda Reneau
b) Hamp Baker
c) Scott Meacham
d) Gene Stipe
3. What South American country was hit by an earthquake?
4. Security and trade were the main issues when President Bush met with what other two leaders at the North American summit in Quebec?
a) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon
b) Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vincente Fox
c) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Karl Rove
d) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
5. Who does Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, think should be the GOP presidential candidate?
a) Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
b) Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
c) Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas
d) Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson
6. What was one thing the NCAA found that prompted the University of Central Oklahoma to suspend its football coach?
a) Some players’ classes at Rose State College were paid for by UCO.
b) Some players were told to walk on at Oklahoma State.
c) Some players had already graduated from college.
d) Some players had not yet graduated from high school.
7. In 2009 and 2010, Oklahoma State University will play a series with what Pac-10 team?
a) University of Washington
b) Washington State
c) University of Oregon
d) Oregon State
8. Where was a Burns Flat city councilman standing in Elk City when he was struck by a stray 9 mm bullet?
a) At an Interstate 40 exit
b) At city hall
c) At a car dealership
d) At the police shooting range
9. What Major League Baseball team defeated the Baltimore Orioles 30-3?
a) Texas Rangers
b) Houston Astros
c) Kansas City Royals
d) St. Louis Cardinals
10. What was breached, exposing Oklahomans to identity theft?
a) The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.
b) A levy around Lake Hefner.
c) The Oklahoma Employment Security System.
d) The Metropolitan Library System.
11. State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan received a visit last Thursday from what federal agency?
12. Which Oklahoma town recorded the most rainfall Aug. 19 with more than 9 inches?
13. What was the name of the tropical storm whose remnants socked Oklahoma with high winds and massive flooding?
14. A typhoon forced the evacuation of more than 900,000 people in what Asian country?
15. A high school cross-country runner drowned last week in the North Canadian River. Where did he go to school?
a) Norman North
b) Edmond Santa Fe
d) Putnam City West
16. A study shows that kids’ food fussiness comes from what?
a) Watching too much TV.
b) Being spoiled rotten and obese.
c) Playing too many video games.
17. A mine in China was flooded, resulting in how many deaths?
18. A 17-year-old New York resident successfully unlocked what, allowing it to be used on networks other than AT&T?
How did you do on the quiz? Here are the correct answers:
1-B; 2-C; 3-C; 4-A; 5-D; 6-A; 7-B; 8-C; 9-A; 10-A; 11-D; 12-B; 13-C; 14-A; 15-D; 16-D; 17-B; 18-C
Another week has passed, and here is your chance to catch up with what you may have missed.
- As the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin pummeled the state with high winds and flooding, a woman inFort Cobb drowned in her cellar where she was seeking shelter from the storm.Rescue workers also found the bodies of two women and a 17-year-old girl submerged in a minivan in floodwaters near Carnegie.
- A woman also drowned in Seminole when she drove her car into high water, then became trapped when it was swept away. More than 100 people were rescued as the storm dropped more than 9 inches on some communities in the western part of the state. Helicopter pilots from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol rescued seven of the stranded people in Canadian and Kingfisher counties.
- Searchers in Minneapolis recovered the remains of the last person missing after the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1. That brought the official death toll to 13.
- The percentage of Oklahomans using prescription painkillers has far outpaced the national average, an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows. Residents using five of the most common painkillers — codeine, hydrocodone, meperidine, morphine and oxycodone — jumped 145 percent from 1997 to 2005, statistics showed, ranking the state No. 8 among the 50 states and District of Columbia.
- Communities began cleaning up after a historic storm lashed the state with torrential rain and gusting winds a day earlier. Six people drowned in the flooding, and more than 100 were rescued as the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin dropped more than 9 inches on some communities in the western part of the state.
- Plans to build a coal-fired power plant near Red Rock received support from Oklahoma Corporation Commission Administrative Law Judge Maribeth Snapp, whose nonbinding recommendation declared the state’s utilities need a new electric generation source.
- Oklahoma City mother Wendy Scroggins, 22, and her boyfriend, Kerry Joe Smith, 21, were arrested on first-degree murder complaints after Scroggins’ 23-month-old daughter died at a city hospital.
- A medical study by Dr. David Kaelber of Case Western Reserve University and Harvard Medical School found that more than 1 million U.S. youngsters have undiagnosed high blood pressure leaving them at risk for developing organ damage.
- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, announced he is backing Fred Thompson, an actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, for president, even though Thompson has not formally announced his candidacy.
- Betty Price, who helped add color to the drab walls of the state Capitol and sparked enthusiasm for arts across the state, said she will leave her post as executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council on Oct. 1.
- Summer vacation officially ended for the 32,207 students who showed up for the first day of classes in Oklahoma City Public Schools; that total does not include those who are enrolled in charter schools.
- While visiting a car dealership in Elk City, Bill Bolechala, a Burns Flat city councilman, was struck by a 9mm bullet that may have come from a police shooting range more than two miles away.
- Two FBI agents spent about 90 minutes in the office of state Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan as part of an ongoing investigation of political corruption in southeastern Oklahoma. McMahan’s spokeswoman declined to answer whether a search warrant was delivered to the office or McMahan’s home. The spokeswoman would not say whether anyone in the office provided records voluntarily.
- The body of Phillip Jones, 17, was recovered in about 20 feet of water about 30 yards south of the Lake Overholser dam. The Putnam City West High School cross-country runner drowned the previous day during a team run through a flooded area.
- It wasn’t good news for the Iraqi government. A report released from America’s spy agencies said the Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months. The National Intelligence Estimate also said Iraq’s security forces have not improved enough to operate without outside help. The analysts reported al-Qaida in Iraq is still able to carry out highly visible attacks.
- Members of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade learned that they would be mobilized in October for deployment to Iraq early next year. More than 2,400 members of the unit are affected by the mobilization.
- The Texas Rangers fell behind 3-0 to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday only to rebound to hammer 30 runs in six innings. The Rangers won the game 30-3.
- Oklahoma schools that need improvement jumped from 47 in 2006 to 62 this year, according to a preliminary report by the state Education Department. The increase is largely because students had to meet higher math and reading benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind Act.
- Raye Dawn Smith, the mother of Kelsey Smith-Briggs, denied that she allowed the toddler to be abused and killed, and said there was a “conspiracy” against her. Smith, 27, was found guilty of enabling child abuse and will be formally sentenced Sept. 10.
The league is open to boys and girls, ages 5 to 15.
Applications will be accepted through Sept. 11. Practices begin Sept. 17 and games begin Sept. 29. Click to print an application. Applications are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays at the police department’s Weed and Seed office, 3450 SW 29.
Cost is $10 and includes a T-shirt uniform.
For more information or to sign up to be a coach, call 297-1137 or e-mail email@example.com.
Practices and games will be at South Rotary Park, 1800 S Westwood.
The Oklahoma City Police Athletic League is a charter member of the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues. PAL is dedicated to reducing crime by providing safe, healthy alternatives for children from high risk neighborhoods
Friends of Martin Park is sponsoring its 16th annual birdseed sale to raise money for its organization, the private non-profit division of Martin Park Nature Center.
Seed is available in 25 and 50 pound bags. Varieties are black oil sunflower, thistle, sunflower heart, white millet and safflower seed. Suet cakes and two premium seed mixes formulated by Martin Park naturalist Neil Garrison are also available.
Seed has been formulated to attract a wide variety of birds including cardinals, goldfinch and siskins and nuthatchers.
Prices are $11 for a 25-pound bag of white millet to $51 for a 50-pound bag of sunflower hearts.
The birdseed sale helps support programming at Martin Park Nature Center. Past proceeds have helped underwrite portions of the park’s bird viewing wall, observation tower scope, gazebo and exhibits.
Click to download an order form or call 751-3771.
See may be picked up 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Farmer’s Grain, 102 W 1 in Edmond. Seed not picked up by 2 p.m. will be donated to Martin Park Nature Center.
Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W Memorial, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. The park has a 140-acre wildlife sanctuary, educational center and 2.5 mile nature trail.
Meat-heavy diets have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer and other medical problems, but now those diets also linked to disease recurrence. A new Journal of the American Medical Association study has found that colon cancer survivors who consume a “Western” diet high in red and processed meats and fats are three times more likely to develop the disease again. Responding to the study, The Cancer Project is urging doctors to educate their patients about how healthy diets can aid in cancer prevention and survival. The Cancer Project says that a high-fiber diet can repair damaged DNA and decrease the amount of time that cancer-causing compounds stay in the colon.
One day in the late 1990s a co-worker came into the office shaking his head in disgust.
He had just returned from a tour of Enterprise Square USA on the Oklahoma Christian University campus and was shocked at what he saw: Technology that was dated by a decade and tour guides who were embarrassed to take him through.
State-of-the-art when it debuted in 1982, Enterprise Square couldn’t keep up with the times. With technology getting faster and more compact with each passing year, the folks who managed the interactive economic education museum obviously couldn’t afford to update their technology.
So, in 2000 Enterprise Square was shut down to public tours after more than 600,000 school children and countless celebrities had walked its halls. It has remained close for almost seven years, despite a pledge by operators to renovate and reopen.
Finally, it appears that Enterprise Square will gain new life, although not exactly the same one it had two decades ago.
OC officials plan a $6 million renovation that will add classrooms, offices, art galleries, an auditorium, a coffee shop and deli and many other features to the building. Enterprise Square will gain a new west entrance, more windows and a giant sun roof that will splash natural light throughout the building. (The rendering above is an artist’s conception of how it will appear to visitors.)
It will still be open to the public and to school children, said Nathan Mellor, executive director of OC’s Academy of Leadership & Liberty, which is housed in Enterprise Square.
The museum left lasting impressions for thousands — both good and not-so-good as it aged, Mellor said.
“I would love for people, if they would, to take the time to tell us their stories,” Mellor said. “I don’t meet anybody in Oklahoma who doesn’t have an Enterprise Square story. Now some of those stories make us cringe, but we still want to hear them.
“But those especially who saw it when it was new and got to see it when the paint was fresh and really appreciated what we were doing… I believe in all my heart it was a noble intent.”
So, do you have an Enterprise Square story to share? E-mail me, and I will pass them on to Mellor and others at OC who will shepherd the renovation.
Business news reporter