How do you explain?
An incredible sadness that is nameless until it happens to you?
Clearly things in Japan are bad and getting worse. I assume heart surgery hasn’t stopped. But perhaps resources are getting stingy, and is there a need to be addressed?
I certainly don’t know. Any assist options? Is it even needed? I have no contact info- so do any of you?
If there are mission efforts- perhaps we could link here and make it happen.
How incredibly sad…
Here are some sketchy research results- anything you guys can add- would be very much appreciated.
Surgical management of radiation-induced heart disease.
Ann Thorac Surg. 1998 Apr;65(4):1014-9.
Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.
BACKGROUND: With the increasing population of patients with prior mediastinal irradiation, cardiac surgeons will encounter patients with radiation-induced damage to the heart and the great vessels. Awareness of the pathology and the surgical management is essential to provide optimal care for these patients.
METHODS: Eight patients with radiation-induced heart disease were encountered in the last 10 years. After a brief clinical presentation, the surgical management of radiation-induced heart disease is reviewed.
RESULTS: Radiation can affect all the structures in the heart, including the coronary arteries, the valves, and the conduction system. The pericardium is the most commonly involved, and the conduction system is the least involved. Pericardiectomy is quite effective in patients with symptomatic pericardial effusion or constriction. The coronary lesions are located predominantly in the ostial or proximal regions of the epicardial vessels. Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty alone appears to have a high rate of restenosis. Surgical revascularization has good long-term results, and the internal mammary artery should be used if it is satisfactory. The aortic and mitral valves are more commonly involved than the tricuspid and pulmonary valves. Myocardial dysfunction predominantly affects the right ventricle and requires particular attention during cardiopulmonary bypass and in the postoperative period. Restoration of sinus rhythm is essential in view of stiffness of the ventricles. Flexibility in the surgical approach with selective use of thoracotomy will facilitate the surgical procedure in certain patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Surgeons should be well versed in all the manifestations and the management of radiation-induced heart disease.
PMID: 9564920 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Low Platelets Due to Radiation
The current research-supported theory, concerning the immune system’s reaction to radiation, is that any effect is proportional to the intensity of radiation exposure in any particular case. Thus far, researchers based most of their most findings on their greater ability to observe effects in high-dose radiation cases. Researchers point to doses of more than 50 rad (rad is the measure of the amount of energy absorbed by the body) as the cause of massive blood cell death, inflammation, and infection in the lymphocyte blood cell population. The lymphocytes are the cells that originate from the bone marrow and constitute 20 to 30% of the total blood cell count. This type of blood cell decline usually occurs 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Decline is shown in other blood cell types over the next several weeks and during this period a radiation-exposed patient may experience severe fevers, infections and bleeding.
The lesser known effects of low-dose radiation, doses less than 50 rad, have been shown to cause mutations and chromosome aberrations in the lymphocyte cells. As yet, it is unknown how these aberrations relate to the immune system’s healthy functionality. However, low doses can cause leukemia. Increased risk of leukemia has been found in children exposed to x-rays while still in the womb.