Doctor completes delicate operation while having a heart attack

March 24, 2009

(ChattahBox) — It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know to seek immediate attention if your having a heart attack unless: You’re a doctor completing delicate brain operation and realize your patient might not make it if you stopped the surgery.

Italian Surgeon Claudio Vitale, 59, started feeling pains in his chest half way through the operation at Naples’ Cardarelli Hospital, but refused to stop despite his team’s urging and the pain worsening.

The neurosurgeon agreed to undergo a blood test,which confirmed a heart problem, but insisted on completing the operation before getting medical help, reports say.

After finishing the surgery, the doctor had an angioplasty operation to treat his attack.

Dr. Vitale was quoted by La Repubblica newspaper as saying: “I’m not a hero, I only did my duty,” but that he couldn’t leave the patient “at such a delicate moment.”

Both doctor and patient are recovering.


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