Take notes, Carrie Bradshaw!
Spoiler alert! If you’re like me, you might have been screaming “call 911!” at the screen when a certain character collapsed on his way to the shower on the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That.
I know, it’s just a TV show, but I couldn’t help but wonder, what SHOULD you do if someone has had a massive heart attack? I asked my friend Dr. Rony Shimony, the head of clinical cardiology at Mt. Sinai, to watch the scene at the end of the first episode and give us his guidance.
During the ahem, masturbation scene, Carrie remarked on the nitroglycerin pills in the bedside table. Rony told me they wouldn’t help at that point. But he did say the first thing Carrie should have done was call 911.
“When Mr. Big experienced left arm and chest discomfort, he should have called 911 to get immediate help, had he been able to reach his phone,” Rony wrote me as he was doing rounds.
“Once his wife — I believe her name is Carrie — returned and saw him collapsed on the floor,” he explained (clearly he doesn’t watch the show! LOL!), “the most appropriate thing would’ve been for her to call EMS for medical care and transportation to the hospital and then immediately begin CPR.” (This might be a good time to Google CPR, friends!) He added, “His odds of survival would’ve much increased if the EMS service got called as soon as Carrie walked into the room.”
“CPR should be administered on a hard surface so the compressions work — the bathroom floor would have been ideal,” Rony added that it’s important for an ambulance to be called right away since they have the proper equipment (a defibrillator) to correct the arrhythmia. (Rony told me that if possible, she should have had him chew an aspirin, but in fairness, it seemed a little late for that! Now, back to the good doctor…)
“Prolonged chest discomfort typically over 20 minutes indicates a heart attack,” he said. “The more time that passes with a closed coronary artery, the more extensive the zone of the permanently damaged heart muscle will be. Time is of the essence.” (Time is of the essence people!!!!)
To prevent permanent damage, “the artery must be opened within 90 minutes, what is known as ‘door to balloon time’: the time from the onset of symptoms to the time in which they inflate a balloon in the coronary, and insert a stent.”
Did you read that everyone?! Ninety minutes!!!
“Heart attacks are responsible for over 500,000 deaths in the United States yearly and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women,” Rony wrote. “Preventive measures are key! Along with early recognition of symptoms and early intervention. Hypertension control, quitting smoking, diabetic control, hyperlipidemia treatment, weight control, proper diet, exercise, and stress reduction are some of the ways you can lower your risk factors.”
I guess the motto for this occasion was “Embalm and Carrie On.” I love the show but wish they could have done more to save — well, you know who.
The information provided on this site isn’t intended as medical advice, and shouldn’t replace professional medical treatment. Consult your doctor with any serious health concerns.