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Medical myths of Hollywood: Healing injection into the heart


Myth: If you inject the drug directly into the heart, then it will start to act quickly and effectively.

What emanates from the tense drama of the scene in which the actor bravely plunges a syringe rovnehonko in the heart instantly and miraculously heal the dying patient. Despite the tension and entertainment scene, its practical value in reality is misleading and creates a false medical stereotype.

It’s not even whether the result of the drug administered in this way is really effective. The problem is that even a tiny hole, a needle on the left heart lead to excessive bleeding, and decrease blood pressure. This is akin to a balloon pierced by a needle and rapidly losing air through the hole, which is not so easy to plug. In addition, there is a considerable chance, especially for a layman to get a fine needle syringe directly into the lungs. In this case the victim cine resuscitation will not expire by the blood, but also slowly but surely suffocate.

In fact, there are not that risky ways that allow you to deliver drugs directly to the heart. The most preferred method is to infusion therapy, popularly known as capacious notion of “dropper”, where the drug is administered intravenously. Given that the total volume of pumping blood through the body of an ordinary person takes about a minute, the drug quickly reach the heart. Even if you can not inject the drug intravenously, it is always possible to inject the medication intramuscularly, which will allow the medicament to get to the heart in five minutes.

Generally, in modern medicine, there is no such treatment in which would require the introduction of the syringe needle through the heart. There is, however, a similar procedure called pericardial puncture. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a needle into the so-called pericardial sac (pericardium) to rid it of excess fluid, which creates pressure on the heart (cardiac tamponade). This procedure is carried out with the utmost precision and care, because physicians are well aware that even a tiny hole in the heart – it’s a very, very bad.

While this mythical method of drug therapy and is easily refuted, one might want to know whether all the scenes with the treatment stab in the heart implausible (or true). So we will not force the reader to languish in doubt, and will shed light on this type of emergency in the case of two of Hollywood’s most famous fragments, in which there is a similar way to intensive care.

Scene number 1 – “Pulp Fiction.”11

In this scene, John Travolta’s character to inject “adrenaline” injected directly into the heart of the heroine Uma Thurman, to reduce the detrimental effects of an overdose of heroin, which she mistook for cocaine. After piercing her heart with a syringe and injection, it immediately comes to mind and feels great.

When a person makes a qualified physician, “adrenaline” prick, this is called input epinephrine injection. Epinephrine is a medicine used frequently in cases such as heart failure, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, as well as in relieving arterial hypotension.

Epinephrine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that acts on various types of nerve tissue. As a result of the excitation of the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the physiological stress response “fight or flee.”

Thus, despite the many cases in which the “adrenaline” injection can be applied to a heroin overdose it is hardly the case. If a person in the event of an overdose of narcotics heart stops beating, the only application epinefrinovoy injection may be warranted, along with comprehensive use of the defibrillator and performing CPR primary action.

Heroin belongs to a class of opiates. This group also includes codeine, morphine, oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl.

A bit of history: the heroin was originally positioned as a non-addictive cough medicine from the German manufacturer “Bayer”.  Another common use of heroin has been treating people with addiction to morphine. This is despite the fact that heroin was found even stronger drug. Funny that when purified morphine was synthesized from opium in 1805, it immediately began to be used as “not calling” addictive drug to cure people from opiate addiction.

In any case, one of the most common causes of deaths associated with the administration of large doses of these drugs is hypoventilation syndrome. When a person ingests too large a dose of the drug, he began to breathe more slowly and the surface, until the complete cessation of breathing.

As a result, the heart of a small amount of time also ceases to contract. And epinephrine injection in this case will not work. Of course, theoretically, it can lead to increased rates of respiration, but in medical practice, such cases are unknown, as adrenaline effect will be much faster than the action of the drug.

However, the world is a drug that acts as adrenaline film. He called naloxone. Synthesized in 1960, it is known as an antidote to opium. The drug is used to fight any negative symptoms of opiate overdose. Entering into naloxone blocks the effect of opiates in brain receptors, thereby ceasing depression of the respiratory process. The drug begins to act very quickly and is guaranteed to return a person to consciousness and to breathe in a minute after administration. Although naloxone and there is a side effect.

The effect of this medication is not as long as that of opiates, so there is a chance to re-respiratory arrest. It should be borne in mind that the effect of naloxone can instantly relieve the person of all the effects of the opiate. Therefore, the dependent person is a sharp change in the physiological pattern almost immediately causes a withdrawal syndrome or the so-called the effect of “breaking up”.

As a result, the patient experiences nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, diarrhea, and fever. As the practice of medicine, after a moment of deliverance from the effects of drugs, people are enraged by the realization that they have taken away all the “buzz” and immediately attack the “guilty.” Children who never use drugs!

Scene number 2 – “The Rock”.11

Here the hero Nichols Cage, enter atropine directly into his heart to arrest the effects of poison gas VI.

At this stage almost all the filmmakers did right: poison nervnoparaliticheskogo action VX exists and utrophin is used as a treatment in the defeat to them.

VI-gas is classified as a chemical warfare agent nervnoparaliticheskogo action. As most of these agents, VI gas strikes cholinesterase enzymes, resulting in the body increases acetylcholine neurotransmitter levels.

This results in an overabundance of overstimulation glands and muscles. As a result, vasodilation, decrease heart rate and compression lung bronchioles. All this takes place in parallel with uncontrolled salivation, urination, defecation, vomiting and irritation of the stomach.

With the defeat of this toxin respiratory arrest occurs because of overexcited diaphragm and other muscles are not able to function adequately, not counting the fact that out of every orifice of the body to the outside rushing streams are not the most pleasant of organic substances.

As noted above, atropine is used for treatment of lesions that poison gas. In addition, the treatment also includes a drug called pralidoxime. It is the enzyme cholinesterase reactivators, which helps reduce the acetylcholine levels in the body. A atropine, in turn, reduces or eliminates adverse effects have acetylcholine. Therefore, the optimal therapeutic effect does the use of atropine in conjunction with pralidoksimom.

It should be noted that although in the film formulation is correct, the method of administration is again flawed. The reason is clear: a giant needle sticking out of the heart, looks much more spectacular and is clearly more emotion. The main thing, kids, do not try this at home.

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