Maximiliano Diego | Salud Diario | April 11, 2014
Member of the Society for Public Health for Salamanca ( ADSP )
(Translated by Marie Huynh)

I’m a doctor; a cardiologist, of the sort that puts those springs in patients when they suffer a heart attack. I love our work, but I recently left the hospital a little sadder than before.

A patient, who had previously been admitted, returned with a second heart attack.  Looking at his arteries, we found that the stent, the spring, implanted a few months earlier, had thrombosed, causing a second heart attack much more severe than the first.

While we tried to repair the diseased artery again, he assured us that he was taking his pills, but the correlation between thrombosis of endovascular prostheses and abandonment of treatment is so high that, with our persistence, he finally admitted that he had stopped two months before. The situation is very simple: no work, only four hundred euros in aid for the unemployed, and the treatment costs more than a hundred euros a month. He has a wife, no job, and a small child.

“It’s either eat, or take the pills.”

Then, this man began to cry. Silent tears, motionless.  He cried from fear of impending death or something worse; but above all, he cried from shame, for having to lie to his doctor because he does not dare admit that he does not have enough to pay for the prescribed treatment.

Over the past year, we have seen this same situation time and again. Too often, I believe. Never before, in many years of professional practice, have we encountered something like this.  In addition, if everything were reduced to money, the health costs of stent thrombosis is many, many times greater than the drug costs of complementary treatment.

It is not he who must cry from shame.  It’s not.


Heart image is from The Graphics Fairy.

Categories: Food

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