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Miracle Cure

by Michael Palmer

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569536,320 (3.51)6
A medical mystery featuring Dr. Brian Holbrook of Boston who is testing a heart medication. He discovers the drug has serious side-effects, which puts his life in danger from people who have invested a great deal of money in the drug's development. By the author of Extreme Measures.

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Showing 5 of 5
Brian Holbrook is a former cardiologist, who has now gotten a job at the Boston Heart Institute, and corresponding hospital. Because you need a job as a doctor, before you can have your license reinstated, this is a catch 22, because nobody will hire a doctor whose license has been yanked. He's been struggling to survive the last few years working at a car rental desk, and as a nightclub bouncer. But because he is consulted, while he's in the hospital with his father, by a former classmate of his from medical school, he ends up making a suggestion on an emergency, that saves the life of the woman in the ER. For this reason, the director of the hospital is impressed with him, and gives him a job.

The character of This doctor is an idiot. He lost his license before, for stealing pain pills. Now he's got his license back, and he's stealing heart medication for his father, possibly jeopardizing the patient's health, he's stealing the medicine from, for his father.
His father suffered horribly through recuperation from a botched bypass operation years before. So now, when his heart health has deteriorated, he is determined not to have another bypass. Instead, he's impressed by what he's heard about this drug called Vasclear, That is not yet approved by the FDA. However, it's undergoing clinical trials at the hospital that Brian is working at.
"For the past week, Brian had encountered no difficulties in manipulating the reserve supply of beta Vasclear in the clinic refrigerator. In addition, he had exchanged saline for Vasclear once with each of two patients. Both were well into their second year of treatment. It seemed impossible that there could have been any harm done to either of them.

If nothing else, I did learn a few things anatomically, in this book. One thing I learned something about, was catheterization. Not of penises, of the heart.
The protagonist's father, though only 63 years old, has pronounced heart disease. It's not really explained why, but I can only assume that he drank a lot, maybe smoked a lot, and had a heavy meat diet.
So in this one excerpt, his father, whose name is Jack, is undergoing a catheterization of his heart, to see to what extent his veins/arteries are blocked, and to what extent his previous bypass has deteriorated.
Brian and his father had gone out for lunch to a local deli, and his father has suffered some kind of coronary event in the restaurant.
"... The first step would involve local anesthesia to Jack's right groin and the 'blind' insertion through the skin of two long, thin, hollow catheters -- one into his femoral vein, then up the vena cava, and into the right atrium and ventricle of the heart; and the other right next to it, into his femoral artery, then up the aorta, and into the two corresponding Chambers on the left side of the heart. The separate catheters were necessary because, except in certain congenital and disease conditions, there was no direct connection between the right chambers, which pumped blood to the lungs, and the left, which received blood from the lungs and pumped it through the aorta to the coronary arteries and the rest of the body."

The Vasclear that Brian has managed to steal for his father, has not been working. In the end, his father ends up in the emergency room, under the knife of a brilliant cardiologist named Dr Laj Randa, who all this time has berated Brian for believing the stories of the "miracle drug Vasclear," saying that it's all hype, and that his father will only benefit from surgery. Brian and his father both, sadly suffer from Jack's determination not to undergo an additional bypass, when Dr Randa is unable to save him.

When I worked as attendance secretary in a primary school front office, I had to sub for a nurse that we didn't have, when children came in with some sort of physical complaint. When a child came in with a nosebleed, as they very often did, I told them to hang their head over the sink in the nurse's office, turn on the water for them, and tell them to rinse themself off with water, as I could not bear to look at the sight of blood, without becoming nauseous.
When I read this excerpt from this book, my queasiness at certain medical situations is reinforced:
"Brian slipped on a rubber glove, worked his hand between the Man's legs and under his scrotum, and did a rapid rectal exam. Then he smeared a bit of stool on a chemically impregnated card and added a drop of developer to test for blood."
( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
Found in the back of the cupboard (ahem!)[return]

Run of the mill story of a Doctor, struck off for stealing drugs, finally getting back to work, only to get involved with a new cardio drug being trialled and rushed through FDA.

So-So read, started getting bored and skimming 2/3rds of the way through ( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
I remember liking this book. But, just before registering, I read the blurp on the back cover and found myself thinking: if a docter got banned from being a docter, how can he be practising medicine / testing a new drug? He's not allowed to then?

Well, the above says enough I guess: I'll have to re-read it to find and answer to that question. I don't know if I'll do that, because this genre is not as attractive as it used to be when I bought / read these books many years ago. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Dr Brian Holbrook has problems. He was a very successful heart surgeon until his prescription drug addiction got out of control and got him out of a job. He's now clean and trying very hard to get back into medicine. His father has an incident and he ends up in Boston's prestigious heart hospital and he Brian gets a chance at a new job.

The hospital is working on a new drug. It seems to be a miracle cure for heart congestion. However some of the early patients are dying, Brian wants to know but its putting him in danger.

It sometimes feels like when you read one novel about this topic you've read them all. While interesting it's pretty predictable. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Feb 26, 2008 |
After I read 'Side Effects' I was beginning to think that Michael Palmer had lost his touch. Then I read Miracle Cure and my opinion changed right away. This book was interesting right from the beginning. It was rich with character detail and storyline and medical suspense. A must for any Michael Palmer fan. ( )
  Jawin | Dec 31, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Palmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gelder, Eny vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A medical mystery featuring Dr. Brian Holbrook of Boston who is testing a heart medication. He discovers the drug has serious side-effects, which puts his life in danger from people who have invested a great deal of money in the drug's development. By the author of Extreme Measures.

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