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From the Heart
January 22, 2020

Heart(beat) to Heart(beat)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Fast and Chronic Programmes, Alexandra Hospital, National University Health System, Singapore
  • 2Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, National University Hospital, National University Health System, Singapore
JAMA Cardiol. 2020;5(3):249-250. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.5302

June 24, 2004. Five more minutes of the quarter-final match and England would be knocked out of Euro 2004 by the Portuguese if they didn’t do something spectacular. Frank Lampard turned 180°, blasted the equalizer into the Portuguese net, and sent England into the penalty shootout. My brothers and I leapt with joy at our television set, and my tachycardia returned. Please, not again.

I excused myself from my brothers and went back to my bedroom. It was probably a good thing, as it spared me the agony of watching David Beckham blast the football over the net in the shootout. But I had a decision to make. Go back to the hospital again or take matters into my own hands this time. Perhaps it was the doing of inadequately developed frontal lobes in a young trainee then; I chose the latter, inserted a needle into my antecubital vein, and injected the verapamil. It worked. My heart rate went down, but so did my blood pressure, and I spent the next 10 minutes on the floor, nursing a systolic pressure of 70 mm Hg.

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