After yesterday's story from the New England Journal of Medicine about heart attack patients dying because cardiologists are not ready to receive them quickly enough (more training from Formula One needed) from hospital emergency rooms, CBS' Jon LaPook followed up with American Heart Association research about useless angioplasty. It found that the procedure, when performed more than two days after a heart attack, is no more beneficial than if it had never been done at all.
LaPook failed to follow up with questions a reporter would ask: How much does all this unnecessary angioplasty cost? Who profits from these procedures? How many patients have undergone them? And given Lisa Stark's report on ABC (subscription required) that 90,000 patients of all types die each year from infections they pick up from being in hospital, how many heart patients have died from unnecessary angioplasty?
Dr LaPook is one of the additions Katie Couric has added to the reporting team at CBS. So far, as a medical correspondent…LaPook makes a fine doctor.
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