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Dick Cheney recovering from heart transplant

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by MileHigh, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Please try to keep the politics and snark out of it. It's a legitimate news story.

  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Given his health history, it's fairly remarkable Cheney's still around at all. Here's the Wikipedia rundown:

    Cheney's long histories of cardiovascular disease and periodic need for urgent health care raised questions of whether he was medically fit to serve in public office.[149] Once a heavy smoker, Cheney sustained the first of five heart attacks in 1978, at age 37. Subsequent attacks in 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2010 have resulted in moderate contractile dysfunction of his left ventricle.[150] [151] He underwent four-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting in 1988, coronary artery stenting in November 2000, urgent coronary balloon angioplasty in March 2001, and the implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in June, 2001.[150]

    On September 24, 2005, Cheney underwent a six-hour endo-vascular procedure to repair popliteal artery aneurysms bilaterally, a catheter treatment technique used in the artery behind each knee.[152] The condition was discovered at a regular physical in July, and was not life-threatening.[153] Cheney was hospitalized for tests after experiencing shortness of breath five months later. In late April 2006, an ultrasound revealed that the clot was smaller.[152]

    On March 5, 2007, Cheney was treated for deep-vein thrombosis in his left leg at George Washington University Hospital after experiencing pain in his left calf. Doctors prescribed blood-thinning medication and allowed him to return to work.[154] CBS News reported that during the morning of November 26, 2007, Cheney was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and underwent treatment that afternoon.[152]

    On July 12, 2008, Cheney underwent a cardiological exam; doctors reported that his heartbeat was normal for a 67-year-old man with a history of heart problems. As part of his annual checkup, he was administered an electrocardiogram and radiological imaging of the stents placed in the arteries behind his knees in 2005. Doctors said that Cheney had not experienced any recurrence of atrial fibrillation and that his special pacemaker had neither detected nor treated any arrhythmia.[155] On October 15, 2008, Cheney returned to the hospital briefly to treat a minor irregularity.[156]

    On January 19, 2009, Cheney strained his back "while moving boxes into his new house". As a consequence, he was in a wheelchair for two days, including his attendance at the 2009 United States presidential inauguration.[157][158]

    On February 22, 2010, Cheney was admitted to George Washington University Hospital after experiencing chest pains. A spokesperson later said Cheney had experienced a mild heart attack after doctors had run tests.[151] On June 25, 2010, Cheney was admitted to George Washington University Hospital after reporting discomfort.[159]

    In early July 2010, Cheney was outfitted with a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute to compensate for worsening congestive heart failure.[160] The device pumps blood continuously through his body.[161][162] He was released from Inova on August 9, 2010,[163] and will have to decide whether to seek a full heart transplant.[164][165] This pump is centrifugal and as a result he is alive without a pulse.[166]

    Cheney received a heart transplant on March 24, 2012.[167]
  3. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Not related to Cheney, but one of my disappointments about my recent trip to Cape Town was that I was unable to make it to the museum donated to Christiaan Barnard, who performed the first heart transplant in 1967. The museum devotes attention to all aspects of the procedure, including the woman who provided the heart, who had been killed in a Cape Town car accident the day before the transplant. The first patient survived 18 days and died of pneumonia.


    There's also a good book about the race for the first transplant, as several American doctors were just as close as Barnard to pulling it off.

  4. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Would love to hear from DocTalk or someone else in the know -- would your average 70-year-old with that kind of history normally rank high enough on the list to qualify? Just seems like the low chance of long-term success would be a deal-breaker for an organ with such demand and such low supply. I am sure he worked the system like Steve Jobs did, but I wonder if he has any greater prospects.
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    AP says he's been on the list for 20 months. That doesn't sound like working the system to me, but DocTalk certainly could lend a lot more credibility than me on that topic.
  7. westcoastvol

    westcoastvol Active Member

    That's a typo.

    It's should read "implant," not "transplant," which would assume there was one there to begin with.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I think Jobs was on the list longer than that for his liver. Not positive about that but I think he was. By "working the system" in Jobs' case, I was referring to him going around the country and getting on every State's registry, an option available only to the wealthy or well-connected. Insurance only pays for one registry per patient, after that the individual has to foot the entire cost of evaluation, consultation, travel, etc. Jobs got his liver in Tennessee. He actually became a big donor activist after seeing this system and how some people could work it and most couldn't.

    I'm sure there are other techniques for finessing things. Here it's basically the same question as when Mickey Mantle got a new liver: Did his name move him up the list?
  9. ucacm

    ucacm Active Member

    I was at an event last year where Dick Cheney was the featured speaker. He looked incredibly frail.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    See first post. Snark. Avoid. Please. We thank you.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I hope this doesn't qualify as snark, because it's not intended to be:

    Was anyone else shocked that Dick Cheney is only 71 years old? I remember his health being a major issue in 2000, and I guess I must have just gotten into my head way back then that he was, well, about 70 or so. Hell, he was a whipper snapper.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I can see understand the initial impression, and he certainly looks older than that -- but he was draft age for Vietnam.
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