When patients know best ...

1.

"When I was in medical school we had a gentleman in his late 60s come in for chest pain, found to have had a large heart attack. He refused emergent cardiac catheterisation — going through the arteries and putting a stent in to open up the vessel of the heart — so he could take his car home ... He was in the parking ramp and it cost $20/day to park. He came back by ambulance in full arrest (no pulse) and died. Doctor had to call his son and explain what happened and the son was like 'yeah that sounds like Dad, he's always been cheap'."

2.

There is a reason you can't eat before surgery: "Patient was supposed to have starved for eight hours for her morning scheduled breast surgery. During the procedure she regurgitated what can only be described as a partially digested full English breakfast up into her unprotected airway and attempted to inhale the lot. Managed to prevent the majority of it going down, but she needed HDU [high-dependency unit] care for a day or so for her lungs to recover from the stomach acid." (

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Misuse of the word "elderly" getting a bit old

A reader of indeterminate age writes: "I would like to start a conversation on 'elderly' in the media. For a lot of 65-plus people these days who are fit and well, the term 'elderly' is quite inappropriate. I suggest in articles just use the age. So instead of "an elderly man of 70" state "a man, aged 70".

Straight as an arrow

Weapons, not lollies

A reader writes: "My daughter found this at The Warehouse …Asked for it for Easter and I thought of course being a piñata, it would be filled with lollies, right? Checking the label ... ugh not quite!"

Video Pick

Eat Healthy Food Pyramid video-Featuring Marilyn Manson...


Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz