Scared to Death' May be More Than a Saying, Pathologists Find
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2-B Wed., Feb. 27, 1980 SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER The Times Medical Beat 'Scared to death' may he more than a saying, pathologists find By SALLY REESE Times Medical Writer Two Ohio pathologists say being "scared to death" may be more than a figure of speech. Dr. Marilyn S. Cebelin of Cleveland, Ohio, says she and her colleague, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch of Cincinnati, identi-fied 15 cases of people dying after physi-cal assault even though none of their injuries was lethal. She addressed the International Academy of Pathology's U.S.-Canadian Division meeting in New Orleans this "SEreveport pathologists at the meeting .included Dr. Marjorie Fowler, Dr. I.D. Sanusi and Dr. Enrique Gonzalez of the Department of Pathology at LSU Medi- .cal Center. Dr. €egeGh believes the Ohio study provides the first objective medical evidence of stress as a cause of death. She said acute stress in humans ap-parently can provoke lethal changes in the heart muscle. These changes, unlike those produced by heart attacks, mimic "lesions seen in experimental animals subjected to severe stress, she said. Eleven cases showed a type of heart cell death typical of the "stress cardiomyopathy" that develops in ex-perimental animals rendered helpless to anticipate or avert noxious stimuli, Dr. Cebelin reported. ' Four of the victims, including three children, were free of any sign of heart disease. A 2-year-old girl had been tied up in a vacant room overnight after being beaten by a stepfather. Dr. Cebelin regarded this situation as "horrifyingly similar" to the stressed animal experi-ments. She and Hirsch did their study at the Cuyahoga County coroner's office where Dr. Cebelin is deputy coroner. She also is assistant director of autopsy pathology [at the Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. I Hirsch has become director of forensic pathology at Hamilton County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Toxicology and Criminalistics. He teaches at the Univer-sity School of Medicine in Cincinnati. They initiated their study because pathologists are sometimes asked to determine whether a person was beaten to death. They culled the 15 cases from 497 homicidal assaults without any identi-fiable mechanism of death. The injuries, mostly cuts and bruises, were inflicted by such a cane, a coat hanger, a metal bar and, in the children's cases, a belt and an electric cord. Two victims survived in the hospital for a time after assault and recorded abnormal heartbeats. Cebelin said the heartbeats suggested that stress-related cell changes can alter the rhythm of the heart and thereby produce death. Doctor to lecture Dr. Gerrit W.H. Schepers, director of heart and lung programs for the Veter-ans Administration, will lecture at the VA Medical Center and LSU Medical_ Center here Thursday and Friday. Schepers is with the VA's central office in Washington. He is said to be an authority on industrial diseases of the chest. His primary specialty is internal medicine; his secondary speciality is pulmonary diseases. Schepers will lecture at 8 a.m. Thurs-day during the ground rounds of the Department Medicine at LSU Medical "Cenfer~ Industrial diseases of the chest will be his subject. AsBestosis, which he has studied, will be his subject at VA Medical Center at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Before his VA appointment, he was chief of pathology for the Washington, D.C., hospital system. Previously, he was chief of industrial pathology at Haskell Laboratories of DuPont Co. and the Saranac, N.Y., Laboratory. He is a graduate of the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in Johan-nesburg, South Africa. Doctor to visit Dr. Worthington G. Schenk Jr., chair-man of the surgery department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, will visit LSU Medical Center here Fri-day. He is an expert on blood flow and hemodynamics, an LSU spokesman said. Medical journals have published 177 of his articles. He is a member of 15 professional groups and a past president of the Socie-ty for Vascular Surgery. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1945, and did his surgical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1945-1946. He has been director of surgery at E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospi-tal since 1966.
|Title||Scared to Death' May be More Than a Saying, Pathologists Find|
Sanusi, I. Daniel
Schepers, Gerrit W. H.
Schenk, Worthington G.
|Identifier||See reference URL on the navigation bar.|
|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|
Scared to Death' May be More Than a Saying, Pathologists Findfor