Dr. Tom Johnson, a cardiologist in England, used a rather different procedure to save an elderly man. Believe it or not, a shot of basic alcohol served to rectify an abnormal heart rhythm and save a dying man.
Dr Johnson said Ronald Aldom, 77, was keeping really well, after the team used pure ethanol to treat Aldom's rapid heartbeat. This is a condition called ventricular tachycardia, or VT and can get extremely dangerous if it goes untreated.
This was perhaps the first time that the cardiologist used ethanol to treat ventricular tachycardia.
"[Aldom] was at a point where he felt he had no other option and was kind of facing death.While it sounds like a very barbaric treatment, it was a very rewarding one, [but] very high risk," Dr.Johnson said.
Dr Johnson and team had already tried the usual radio frequency catheter ablation but this did not work.
"It was complicated by the fact that [Aldom] had severe damage to his heart already," Johnson said. "It got to the point where this poor man was like, 'please shut it off and let me die.'"
"This guy had no other option, which is why we were able to do something we had never done before," Johnson said.
Ethanol ablation is commonly used to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Though, he had used ethanol to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in the past, in Aldom's case, this was the only option available.