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From the Heart
June 16, 2021

The First Step

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Cardiology, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
JAMA Cardiol. 2021;6(9):995-996. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2021.1601

I had been in this position so many times. I recognized all the signs: my heart racing, the chest tightness, my stomach in knots and my knees weak, the tingling sensation running down my left arm to my fingertips. I was getting sweaty but felt cold all over. It felt like someone was beating a huge drum in my chest that was reverberating through my whole body—“Okay, I’ll be needing the Berman catheter next. And can you set up the contrast for this angiogram? Let’s do 20 cc of contrast at a flow rate of 25. And it seems like the patient is getting a bit tachycardic; can we give him some more sedation?”

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