Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Royal Connection?

We have been hearing (or reading, or listening, depending on how you read the news.) about the Duke Of Edinburgh  (ie: husband, and Consort of The Queen, Elizabeth II,  monarch of  Great Britain.) being taken to Papworth Hospital due to the fact that he had complained of a pain in his chest over the Christmas holiday while staying at Sandringham, the royal Norfolk estate. I only mention this because I went to Papworth for tests after I had my heart attack. He had an operation to insert a stent into a blood vessel to unblock a blood clot. For anyone who doesn't know what a stent is, it's a quite amazing invention, inserted into the vein in the patient's groin and then gradually worked up through the vein, and the surgeon can see this using X-ray. The end of the stent is a tiny umbrella-like construction, which, when in the correct position, is  opened up, thus enlarging the vein and helping the blood to flow properly and preventing a further clot developing. The stent is then removed and the patient allowed to recover.  I have not had this procedure, as I had an angiogram which was done weeks after my heart attack. A dye is injected into the blood-supply, and as a result can be seen by X ray and can then show up exactly were the blood clot that caused a heart attack is. I had a test at Papworth Hospital to show up any further clot and it was decided that I didn't need invasive surgery, but, apparently now, a good 5 and a half years after my original heart attack (or to give it the correct medical name: myocardial infarction.) if you have a heart attack you are automatically given the stent procedure. My  heart condition is controlled by medication.

The Duke of Edinburgh has since been discharged from Papworth Hospital and has returned to Sandringham.
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