Medical Mistakes You May Be Making

More on the Heart

Follow Dr. Gonzo inside the O.R. as he performs a heart transplant.
Dr. Gonzo explains the
difference between a heart attack and heart failure, and tells you what to do in case you or someone you know suffers a heart attack.

Actor Alex O'Loughlin from the new CBS medical drama Three Rivers joins The Doctors to talk about playing the role of a heart surgeon.
Watch Dr. Travis on the set of Three Rivers.
Surviving the Widow-Maker
Imagine having six heart attacks in the same day - and surviving. This happened to Patrick Fox, author of The Widow-Maker Heart Attack at age 48. Each time, Patrick suffered from what is called "the widow-maker" heart attack, a term coined by physicians to describe a major blockage of the left-main coronary artery. Oftentimes fatal, the fact that Patrick lived through multiple in the same day is miraculous.

"It [is called] the widow maker, because at autopsy, they would find adult men who died suddenly had this blockage in a part of the coronary system, or arteries that supply the heart, blocked off completely," says heart surgeon Dr. Gonzalo Gonzalez-Stawinski, also known as Dr. Gonzo. "The reason they call it the widow-maker is because they would make widows every time they would take the life of a male patient."

Patrick flat-lined six times due to the widow-maker, and says, "There has to be a reason why that doctor decided to hit me that seventh time with the paddles to bring me back. I'm glad I'm here to be with you!"

E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork and Dr. Gonzo explain what happens during the widow-maker heart attack.

Seizure Dos and Don'ts

Stephanie is a teacher, and some of her students have had seizures in the past. She asks The Doctors what she should do if it happens again. The Doctors reveal what to do, and what not to do, if someone has a seizure.

Seizure Tips

If someone has a seizure, follow these tips from The Doctors:
• Remove harmful objects.
Cushion the head.
Call 911.
Position the person on his or her side in a recovery position.
If a pregnant woman has a seizure, make sure she goes to the emergency room.

Cleaning a Wound

Sleeping During Pregnany

Dr. Lisa reveals how you should -- and shouldn't -- sleep during pregnancy.

Next time you cut yourself, don't rush to the medicine cabinet for the bottle of hydrogen peroxide. When used as antiseptic, it can do more harm than good. "They say, ‘Oh, the bubbles are going to clean out all the bacteria and everything,'" pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "Sure, it will kill bacteria, but it will also kill the healing cells, and can actually delay healing."

Dr. Travis adds that using rubbing alcohol on a cut can be toxic to the wound itself.

"What you do want to do is gently wash the wound with soap and water, using mild soap and then pat it dry," plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. "Then apply an antibiotic ointment, which has been shown to not only help prevent infection, but number two, it's been shown that in a [clean and] moist environment, things will heal better and you're less likely to form a scar."

Dr. Travis explains what to do if you sever a part of your finger.

Poison Control

Do you know what to do if you or your child swallows something poisonous?

"Many times, a lot of this [poisonous] stuff is more harmful coming back out because it passes the lungs once again, and you can inhale it, or it may be toxic to the mouth," Dr. Jim says. "But it's still an emergency. Oftentimes [people will ask], ‘Do I drink milk? Do I drink water?' - but the best thing to do is call poison control. Don't even call your doctor. Just get on the cell phone; hopefully you have it stored in your phone already. Call poison control, they'll tell you what to do. They'll look up the exact cleaners or medications that you overdosed on and tell you exactly what to do, if you should be rushed to the emergency room or to not worry."

Poison Control phone number: 1-800-222-1222

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OAD 10/02/09