Tim Russert had just returned from Rome. He'd been on a plane for hours. I wonder if his "heart attack" was from an embolism, a clot that blocked an artery in his heart. A clot that formed from long hours of sitting.
I wonder, since he was older and traveled a lot, if he was taking aspirin to prevent something like this. I wonder if he'd been given TPA or another clotbuster when the paramedics got there whether the clot, if that's what killed him, would have dissolved.
If he suffered an arrythmia, I would think the EMTs could have restarted his heart if they got there soon enough. He may have died from undiagnosed SDS, sudden death syndrome, an arrythmia problem which causes the heart to beat so fast the blood isn't pumping, and you pass out. Sometimes falling to the floor can correct the rhythm. Other times, without intervention, you die.
Either way, blood clot, or SDS, I don't think he had to die. Unless no one discovered him unconscious until it was too late.
Sometimes being a celebrity means that your medical care suffers from doctors and paramedics not wanting to make a mistake, so they aren't aggressive enough. There was a study that I can't quote or link to [what else is new?] that said medical intervention errs on the side of caution when it comes to famous people. Better to be anonymous in an emergency.
On the other hand, Buffalo Bills' player, Kevin Everett, is walking because his team's doctor made a controversial and brave decision in front of millions of viewers to cool his body internally to prevent swelling around the spinal cord. Initially the decision was made to help Kevin because he was having so much trouble with his breathing when they took him to the ambulance. Ultimately, the decision meant he would walk again.
I don't think anybody truly reallizes how courageous that doctor was to make that decision.
Meanwhile, it makes me wonder what brave decision could have saved Tim Russert's life.