This is a partial transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from Feb. 14, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
BRIT HUME, HOST: For more on Mr. Whittington and his injuries, we turn to FOX News medical analyst atrial fibrillation. They picked that up, they did an angiogram or cardiac catheterization and found the pellet. Where does the heart attack part come in?
The pellet damaged a little part of that heart muscle, releasing enzymes which signal heart attack. I don’t want to make it more complicated than it is. The word heart attack means that a portion of muscle has been damaged. Now, 99.999 percent of the time, that damage occurs from a blocked artery or blocked blood vessel. In this case, the damage occurred, the heart attack occurred, from the pellet which hurt the muscle and caused the enzyme changes and electrocardiographic changes.
What is the outlook? I would think with this tiny pellet, I would think the outlook is good. This man doesn’t have heart disease. His arteries are apparently open. His heart muscle is good. It’s just this tiny area that was damaged and should heal. Will they do an operation to take it out? Probably not.
HUME: What will happen? Will the pellet eventually be washed away somehow, what will it happen?
ROSENFELD: It will stay there. There’s nothing that washes the heart muscle.
HUME: How great is the danger of infection?
ROSENFELD: Probably not great, it’s the interior of the heart and there’s no — I mean, they’ll have to watch for it, if it’s infected, they’ll have to treat him with antibiotics, but one can’t predict that. It will probably rest right there.
There are many cases of shrapnel during war which penetrate the chest wall and lodges into the heart muscle and have you a similar picture.
HUME: They are saying he might have to stay in the hospital another week. Does that sound right to you?
ROSENFELD: That sounds about right. The problem is they have to control his at atrial fibrillation. I don’t know if this cardiac rhythm problem has revolved itself. Whether the heart is now beating normally or they need to give him drugs to control the irregular heart rhythm. But a week seems like a reasonable time. If you know, they are not many doctors have experience with pellets in the heart, I’ll tell you that.
HUME: I’ll bet. Your view is a full recovery is likely?
HUME: Dr. Rosenfeld, a pleasure to have you.
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