There are so many smaller important stories within this story reported today by ABC News. As you know, I’ve been “shouting from the sidelines” for years about all the important lessons within this story. Keywords:PFO screening, migraine, rise in young stroke, growing rate of obesity, pediatric stroke connection,declining activity level in young and stroke risk.
Source ABC News / March 29,2013
Arizona Twins Suffer Strokes at 26, Only Months Apart
The other day I was out for a run with my 11 year old son and we were pushing it a little hard on hills. The trail was challenging and was “off the beaten path” a bit and I suddenly came to the realization (as my heart was pounding out of my chest) that I didn’t have a great emergency response plan in place if I went down and became unresponsive. I’d like to think that the patient ID card I carry that identifies I have a septal occluder would be found on me, but I also have doubts it would have enough data on it to matter to a first responder. Read this post and you’ll see from my endorsement after the video why RoadID quickly became the ID I carry to give myself and my family peace of mind. It gives responders instant access to all the medical data and contacts I wish to share in emergency. It is easy to register,set-up and modify your information. Read this full post to see how you can get my top pick for the best emergency ID for stroke survivors and help support your favorite charity too.
As someone perhaps concerned about the future research on the PFO/Migraine/Stroke connection please help me evaluate the stroke conference I attended yesterday for the PFO Research Foundation. As I previously mentioned in a post on our patient advocacy group, I attended the 3rd Annual Rhode Island Stroke Conference: “Getting to the Heart of STROKE“. Even though my blood pressure has now returned to baseline I do find myself hitting these keys a bit hard now so please chime in here and help write up my course evaluation. I know you were not there but just knowing the words PFO/Migraine/Stroke were not even mentioned together once at the conference should hopefully get you all going too.
Perhaps if I get enough feedback I’ll build a page and link it to my evaluation for some possible future consideration in conference planning. Pls share!
Yes, you already may know “MAY” is National Stroke Awareness Month. What you may not know is May 1st will always have a different meaning for me. On May 1st, 2007 I had heart surgery or percutaneous closure to repair a PFO (patent foramen ovale) that is believed to have caused a cryptogenic embolus to get to my brain. In other words, a small blood clot was allowed to bypass my lungs and gain a back door entry to my brain through a congenital heart defect that proved to be more than simply an “incidental” finding.
In fact, it was discovered through diagnostic imaging and a comprehensive neurological history and assessment that it wasn’t the first clot to escape up to my brain. I guess you would consider my PFO “pathological” as I believe that means my particular heart anatomy placed me at an increased stroke risk.
So why am I reflecting on this procedure on my 6th anniversary of PFO Closure?
According to a recent Editorial in the March 21,2013 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM.org) there is “Still No Closure on the Question of PFO Closure“. Certainly all eyes and (Amplatzer) investment ears too will be waiting and listening to what the FDA has to say about PFO device closure perhaps at the end of the year. I worry, however, that physicians and certainly already insurance carriers have not only closed the door but locked it shut on patients who also may have the same PFO pathology. I will be hoping more PFO patients like myself speak up and speak out to regulatory agencies before it is too late and they throw away the keys to that door that is quickly closing on PFO.