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“I would love to see acute medicine in the US”

Renowned expert in pulmonary hypertension based at Duke University, Professor Vic Tapson, gave Acute News his verdict on how far SAM has come.

‘I think Chris [Roseveare] and Derek [Bell} and Philip [Dyer], the whole gang, have done a really good job on moving this specialty along and what I love about the specialty is its focus on the first 24 hours,’ Vic told Acute News at SAM’s international conference in September. ‘It’s a novel idea, and a good one. I would love to see something like this in the US. I would like to think in academic hospitals that we do a pretty good job when someone comes to the ED but again once you’re admitted then there is a reduction in the concern about the acuity so I like the concept that the first 24 are very important. And I think the acute teams here do a wonderful job.’

Vic gave the keynote address on the Thursday of SAM’s meeting; ‘Recognising Pulmonary Hypertension in the AMU’ and although he admits it may not seem like the kind of condition acute medics really feel they need to know well, he is keen to emphasize its importance.

‘It’s the same problem everywhere, it takes a year and a half to make the diagnosis, here in the UK and the US, anywhere, which is bad. It is predominantly a disease of young women, women in the prime of life, they get this bad disease and either die from it or are badly disabled from it, that’s why pulmonary hypertension deserves a mention. With pulmonary hypertension all you get is shortness of breath, you don’t have a fever, you may not have any risk factors and when you listen to heart you may not hear anything at all, so it is a very tough diagnosis.’

Vic is a big fan of SAM’s meetings, he doesn’t just present and fly, he attends other talks and uses the opportunity to meet the delegates. He was particularly impressed by the number of young professionals who attend.

‘This is a young specialty,’’ he noted, ‘it’s a young, enthusiastic, up-to-date group. It’s good for me, I get updated and I like being around the enthusiasm of the young people. I get invited to different things and this is one thing I would love to come back to, they do a really nice job.’

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