Heart(y) News, November 20

November 20, 2009 by  

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worldnewsTotal Artificial Heart Recipient to Celebrate 2nd Anniversary with Donor Heart By Riding with Team SynCardia in El Tour de Tucson
his is the 2nd anniversary of the day when she a new heart. And on this day, 30-year old Vanessa Cirillo will celebrate her new life and her new heart by participating in the 2009 El Tour de Tucson cycling race. Cirillo had a heart attack in 2000 which weakened her heart towards cardiomyopathy. She received an artificial heart called SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart which bought her time until she got a donor heart on November 24, 2007. Cirillo will be cycling for Team SynCardia. Cirillo explains her way of celebrating this anniversary:

“I think the bike race is a great way to celebrate my new beginning. You need to go through struggles and learn lessons to become a better person. Once you have that strength, you can give more to others. This race and helping raise awareness about organ donation allows me to do that.”

Wall Street Journal writer honored for medical reporting excellence
For his work in reporting about heart disease and stroke, Thomas M. Burton medical reporter for the Wall Street Journal was awarded the 2009 American Heart Association Howard L. Lewis Achievement Award for excellence in medical and science journalism. The award recognizes a career of distinction in reporting about heart disease and stroke.
Burton was honored “for his engaging and creative reporting on the practice of medicine and the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries,” the award citation noted. “In particular, his unique mix of investigative and story-telling skills, along with a true passion for his work, result in enterprising reporting that has made a real difference in the ongoing fight against heart disease and stroke.”

FDA Announces New Warning on Plavix: Avoid Use with Prilosec/Prilosec OTC
The US FDA has issued a warning in relation to the use of the anti-clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel) in relation to the use of Prilosec (omeprazole), a proton pump inhibitor that is available over the counter (OTC). The FDA has data that suggests that interaction between omeprazole and clopidogrel will result in reducing the activity of the anti-clotting drug by half.
Clopidogrel is widely used as an anti-clotting agent in patients at risk for heart attack and stroke. Omeprazole is common used as antacid.
According to Mary Ross Southworth of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research:

“Both of these drugs, when used properly, provide significant benefits to patients. However, patients at risk for heart attacks or strokes who use Plavix to prevent platelet aggregation will not get the full effect of this medicine if they are also taking Prilosec.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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