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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


TABERNER, Juliana Sobreira et al. Impact of media coverage on cardiac emergency care: the Bussunda case. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2007, vol.53, n.4, pp.335-337. ISSN 1806-9282.

INTRODUCTION: Social turmoil associated with catastrophes such as flooding, earthquakes or air raids bring about an increased incidence of acute myocardial infarction. Premature death of media personalities with a strong public appeal may cause similar phenomena. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the impact of this media coverage on the emergency service at a Heart Hospital in Brazil (InCor). METHODS: Demographic profiles of patients collected from the InCor's database were analyzed in the days following the death of an important TV personality (Group B). These patients were compared to a Control Group represented by those attended during the first semester of 2006. RESULTS: When compared to the Control Group, Group B disclosed the following significant statistical changes: patients were younger and more of them were male. These findings reflect a change of profile in the control group tending to a greater similarity with the characteristics of the TV personality (man, 43 years old). These changes remained significant for four days (age) and one day (gender). Furthermore, the greater demand for the cardiologic emergency service was not followed by an increased number of deaths and hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction. CONCLUSION: Media exposure on the circumstances of premature death by myocardial infarction of an important TV personality was associated with an increase in the number and a change in the profile of the patients seeking the emergency room at the InCor Heart Hospital. Differently from a situation such as catastrophes, this phenomenon was not followed by an increase in the incidence of myocardial infarction

Keywords : Myocardial infarction; Media; Emergency service.

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