The Widowmaker An Educational Documentary About Sudden Heart Attacks
I watched a documentary Sunday evening and it was about a diagnostic scan for heart disease that has been pretty well shelved for 30 years. Instead hospitals opt to wait until a person has a heart attack, or symptoms, and then put stents in because they make millions. (The scan is not expensive.)
"Every minute of every year an American drops dead of a heart attack, hundreds of thousands without any warning or prior symptom. But these people could have been saved." from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3470838/
Many do die unexpectedly from their first heart attack. Millions in fact. A friend of mine lost her eldest son this way recently.
And stents can wear out...Later, people who have had stents inserted cannot have bypasses which extend life. Stents do not extend life much (according to this film) but...bring in the dough.
The heart calcium scan could be done on every man over 40 and every woman over 50 - or to anyone who wants it. If calcium shows on the heart, indicating heart disease the person can then adjust their lifestyle and diet and take medication if they wish.
I'm not disputing that people do very well with stents. A lot of folks actually listen to their doctors and adjust their diet and lifestyle after such an alarming intervention.
The film puts the emphasis on the greed factor that disposes hospitals to opt for the expensive procedures. Not a strange premise at all.
My personal conclusion from watching this excellent educational film is that heart scans should be done when people reach middle age. Some of those with visible calcium on the heart will do what is needed to treat it with a better lifestyle.
Those who do not may later need stents - or a bypass - but at least with the information of a scan, a person can decide what to do for themselves.
Directed by Patrick Forbes and narrated by Gillian Anderson. "The Widowmaker" .
Image Credit » Photo by Seren3