Miracle Cure

Miracle Cure

by Michael Palmer

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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The master of medical suspense takes you to prestigious Boston Heart Institute, where some patients are dying to get well

“A highly entertaining tale of greed and medicine run amok.”—Chicago Tribune

After a troubled past, Dr.  Brian Holbrook has been given a second chance to prove himself. At state-of-the-art Boston Heart Institute, he’s been chosen to join the medical team testing a new miracle drug. The initial results are so promising that Brian pushes to get his father—who suffers from a dangerous heart condition—accepted into the study.

But Brian is beginning to suspect his superiors are hiding something. Why are crucial records disappearing? Why did a patient making startling progress suddenly die? Is the miracle drug a prescription for death? The answers could cost Brian more than his career.  For at Boston Heart Institute, knowing too much is the quickest way to the morgue.

Praise for Miracle Cure

“Packs plenty of heart-stopping action.”—Associated Press

“A fast-paced lively thriller.”Boston Sunday Herald

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553576627
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood.  His books have been translated into thirty languages.  He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and is now an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society's physician health program

Read an Excerpt

"Nellie's treadmill stress test was positive," Dr. Carolyn Jessup explained, "and a subsequent cath showed fairly severe coronary artery disease.  She was a perfect candidate for randomization into the Vasclear study.  Right, Nellie?"

Nellie Hennessey, eyes closed, was breathing deeply and regularly.

"Jennifer," Jessup went on, "maybe we should be giving her a tad less pre-op medication.  If I have to stay awake for this, everyone does."  She glanced over at the nurse, her eyes smiling.  "Seriously, nice job.  She's perfect....  Anyhow, Brian, Nellie's symptoms disappeared almost immediately and haven't returned.  This is her third and last follow-up cath.  Then she becomes an alumna."

"What Vasclear group is she in?" Brian Holbrook asked, already knowing the answer.

"Beta.  Okay, Doc, you're on.  Let's switch sides.  You do the right heart and afterward I'll switch back and do the coronary-artery shots.  Nellie's asleep so you're not being graded on this.  Just relax and have fun."

"Thank you."

Surprised and pleased at being asked to do anything other than observe, Brian moved behind Carolyn to take her place at the table.

"Everything on the Ward-Dunlop works pretty much like the one you're used to," she said, "except the controls are much more responsive, and the connections on the ports just click and lock."

"Impressive," Brian said, proceeding with the pressure studies and dye injections.

The nurse, Jennifer, was working beside him now, keeping a careful watch on Nellie, checking her blood pressure and IV.

"Everything okay?" Brian asked her.

"All systems are go," she replied.

Brian took some pressure measurements through the catheter, then injected some dye to check the tricuspid and pulmonic valves.  The moment he had thought might never come was here.  He was back in the cath lab, regaining control, piece by piece, of his own destiny.

"You seem pretty comfortable there, pardner," Jessup said, returning to her position to do the left heart and coronary-artery exam.

"Just like riding a bike.  She's got a pretty healthy-looking heart."

"Wait till you see her coronary arteries.  These pictures we're about to shoot are going to be the eighteen-month-afters.  The befores are in the cine-library through the door just past the women's changing room.  Did security give you a code for the keypad?"

"They did."

"Great.  Sometime soon, go and take a look at Nellie's pre-Vasclear films.  We've got two Vangard viewers in there.  One for backup."

"I'm impressed," Brian said.  The viewers, from what he remembered, cost around twenty thousand dollars apiece.

"You'll be even more impressed when you review her films," Carolyn said.  "Now, let's take a look at her left heart and coronaries."

The experimental Ward-Dunlop catheter was exceptionally easy to manipulate, and certainly showed up well on X ray.

"Left anterior oblique cranial...right anterior oblique caudal..."

Jessup called out each angle, waited for Andrew to position the X-ray camera, then injected some dye and activated the camera with her foot pedal.  Overhead, one screen showed the bright white of the X-ray-opaque dye as it briefly filled Nellie's coronary arteries before being washed away, and another traced her heartbeat, oxygenation, and other vital signs.  In the glassed-in control room to their right, the other nurse, Lauren, monitored duplicate screens, and kept watch over the machine that was recording the injections on videotape.  Later, the tape would be reviewed by Jessup, and a report dictated.  The width of every significant artery and every blockage would be carefully measured by computer and recorded.

"...Right anterior oblique cranial," Carolyn said, completing the last of the five left coronary-artery views.  "Okay, everyone, if there is anyone with reasons why this woman and this catheter should remain in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace....  There being no objections to removal of this line, I hereby do so."

Carolyn withdrew the catheter with the same smoothness, the same confidence, as she had displayed throughout the procedure.  But quite suddenly, a brief flurry of extra heartbeats appeared on the screen.  Then another burst.

A few moments later, Nellie Hennessey moaned.

Then she opened her eyes.

Then she began screaming.

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