The Good Heart Attack by asafwewe

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									            The Good Heart Attack
            Transcript of the film by Uli Hesse and Dr Sean Davidson.


            [Music]

            Extract from archive footage: What we should avoid is putting an undue and sudden strain on the
                           heart. And if the strain becomes too great then that person becomes a victim of
                           heart disease.

            Narrator:                    This is a film about a strange paradoxical discovery that promises to save lives.
                                         Seventy years ago Russian scientists posed a bizarre question: can a heart survive
                                         outside the body? Nobody believed it could, so they filmed a dog’s heart and even
                                         asked a British scientist to vouch for them:

            Extract:                     I should like to tell you that I have seen some of the experiments shown in this film
                                         actually carried out at the All Russian Physiological Congress.

            Narrator:                    Having succeeded, the scientists set themselves a new challenge: could they revive
                                         a heart? They invented a primitive bypass machine with the blood circulation passing
                                         through an external pump. And without blood flowing through it the heart stopped
                                         beating: the equivalent of a heart attack.

            Extract:                     The heart has stopped. The dog is dead.

            Narrator:                    After a few minutes they tried to revive it by returning the blood. And it worked – or so
                                         they claimed.

            Extract:                     After ten to 12 days the dog returns to its normal state. After the experiment, dogs live
                                         for years, they grow, they put on weight and have families.

            Narrator:                    Fifty years later a medical student in the US made a paradoxical discovery. When he
                                         cut off the blood flow to the heart for a short time – in fact gave it a small heart attack –
                                         the heart became stronger.

            Professor Derek Yellon: We and others when we first heard this thought, ‘this doesn’t make sense’.

            Narrator:                    Professor Yellon and his team in London started to dig deeper.

            Yellon:                      It’s like being a detective. You know, you’re hunting all the time for clues as to why
                                         the heart is doing what it’s doing. We believe every single cell in the body has the will
                                         to survive and that it’s programmed to survive. And therefore if we can tap into this
                                         survival mechanism and understand what is actually going on within a cell, then we
                                         can exploit that to the advantage of patients who are having a
                                         heart attack.

            Narrator:                    If the blood supply to the heart is cut off for a short time every cell produces a
                                         mysterious cocktail of chemicals. Scientists believe this makes the heart more able to
                                         withstand any further attacks. They call this process pre-conditioning. This heart has
                                         been pre-conditioned: the blood flow is turned off. Without blood a rat’s heart would
                                         normally give up after five minutes, but this pre-conditioned heart is still beating after
                                         half an hour. Finally it stops. What will happen when the blood substitute is switched
                                         back on?




The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is
The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England, no. 2711000, whose
registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK. PU-4254.2/08-2008/PE
            The Good Heart Attack
            Transcript of the film by Uli Hesse and Dr Sean Davidson.


            [Music and sound of heartbeat]

            Narrator:                    Professor Yellon and his colleagues struggled for years to find a way to apply this
                                         discovery to humans.

            Extract:                     As you can imagine, technique is everything.

            Narrator:                    Then they discovered an easier way to pre-condition the heart. It’s not necessary to
                                         stop the heart: it’s enough to restrict the blood flow. Here, this is done using a blood
                                         pressure cuff on the arm. And they found that this works just as well.

            Dr Vinod Venugopal:        It’s so simple. I think it’s the simplicity of it that makes it sound so crazy, let’s
                          say. But it does work.

            Narrator:                    However, the heart keeps its secrets. No one knows exactly how this works.
                                         Normally it’s rather difficult to predict when a heart attack is about to happen, with
                                         one exception: scheduled bypass operations. Here surgeons deliberately stop the
                                         heart while the blood flows through an external pump – a great shock for the heart
                                         and a very complex and risky operation. To reduce the risk in open-heart surgery
                                         this paradoxical pre-conditioning technique is now being trialled at the London Heart
                                         Hospital with
                                         great success.

            Yellon:                      As a scientist one’s dreaming of things all the time.

            [Music]

            Yellon:                      Yes, we know much more than we did but we still don’t know enough and this is why
                                         we have to continue researching. And that’s why I think I’ve got the best job in
                                         the world.

            [Music]

            [End of transcript]




The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is
The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England, no. 2711000, whose
registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK. PU-4254.2/08-2008/PE

								
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