Tag Archives: death
man holding his chest

Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos

A recent New England Journal of Medicine letter gained national attention by describing an emergency room visit by a patient with a tattoo on his chest, “Do Not Resuscitate.” The article told how the emergency room physicians, who had not encountered this issue before, contacted their medical ethics specialists to make sure they were complying with their […]

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man holding chest and woman offering him water

A Simple Community-Based Risk-Prediction Score for Sudden Cardiac Death

Although sudden cardiac death is a leading cause of death in the United States, most victims of sudden cardiac death are not identified as at risk prior to death. We sought to derive and validate a population-based risk score that predicts sudden cardiac death. Methods The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study recorded clinical measures […]

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Rupture of the posterior free wall of the left ventricle.

Cardiac Rupture in a Young Male Cocaine User

To the Editor: A 25-year-old man was found unconscious by his wife in the bathroom of his apartment. She called emergency services and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was promptly initiated within a few minutes. The patient was intubated, transferred to the Emergency Department (ED) of a local hospital, and after 1 hour of advanced cardiac life support […]

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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Emotional States and Sudden Death

It has been known anecdotally for thousands of years that acute positive or negative emotions can trigger sudden death. Indeed, there is even a Bible story about a man who died suddenly when confronted with a rebuke from one of Jesus’s disciples: “St. Luke reports that when Ananias was charged by Peter, ‘You have not […]

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Microphotographs of autopsy sections from the brain are shown. (A) Thrombosed blood vessels in the middle cerebral artery were permeated with fungal hyphae (Luxol fast blue stain/hematoxylin and eosin, 40×). (B) The fungal hyphae found in the middle cerebral artery were nonseptate and branched at right angles (Luxol fast blue stain/hematoxylin and eosin, 400×). (C) A sample from the middle cerebral artery showed fungal hyphae with similar characteristics as above. (Grocott's methenamine silver stain, 400×). (D) A granuloma with giant cells, polymorphonuclear cells, and fungal hyphae was found in the white matter (Luxol fast blue stain/hematoxylin and eosin, 400×).

A Cryptic Case: Isolated Cerebral Mucormycosis

A Cryptic Case: Isolated Cerebral Mucormycosis Presentation A rare infection raging within the brain of a 50-year-old African-American man was impossible to diagnose until after his death. He presented to the emergency department after the acute onset of garbled speech, confusion, right-arm weakness, and right facial droop. His medical history was significant for poorly controlled […]

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American Journal of Medicine Editor Joseph Alpert

Hey, Doc, How Much Longer Am I Going to Live?

The question in the title is one that patients commonly express these days. This certainly is a change in outlook compared with attitudes present when I was a resident more than 40 years ago. At that distant time, patients and family were often fearful of asking this question because they expected the stereotypical response, “You […]

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