Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Signs of a heart attack look different in women compared with men, according to The Washington Post. Government agencies estimate that 1 in 4 women dies of heart disease in the United States, a figure that is equal to men. However, the American Heart Association calculates a higher toll for women, at 1 in 3. Coronary heart disease is the number 1 killer among both men and women in the United States. Differences in heart disease are significant between men and women. For men, the most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain. Although women also experience chest pain, they are more likely than men to have nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, indigestion, pain in the shoulder, jaw, or back, and fatigue that can persist for days, the Post reported. Furthermore, women are more likely to have heart attacks, despite there being no coronary obstruction compared with men. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in these cases, the plaque does not accumulate major blockages, but rather spreads evenly through the walls of blood vessels, resulting in “clear” tests. Research indicates that these women are at a higher risk of heart attack that results from a narrowing in the very small arteries of the heart.
A Texas-based neurosurgeon nicknamed “Dr Death” was sentenced to life in prison for botched surgeries in which he deliberately maimed or paralyzed patients, according to WFAA8. A 12-member jury heard accounts of patients who had received horrific surgeries from Dr Christopher Duntsch, as well as from physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who were shocked by what they saw Duntsch do during those surgeries. Duntsch, who is the first surgeon known to be sentenced to prison for botched surgery, was also convicted of injury to an elderly patient in the 2012 surgery of Mary Efurd, which put her in a wheelchair, according to the report.
As a result of a sharp increase in opioid theft in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, federal authorities are ramping up investigations, according to The New York Times. Government data obtained by The Associated Press revealed a dramatic increase in opioid theft and missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009. Physicians, nurses, or pharmacy staff at federal hospitals had allegedly taken controlled substances for their own use or to sell.