Gilead Investigators’ Meeting

I returned early this morning from San Francisco where I attended the Gilead Science investigators’ meeting for their new QUAD/GS-9350. If you thought the one pill once a day regimen of Atripla, (Sustiva, Viread and Emtriva), was a big deal, then wait for this new QUAD, which is four in one. Made up of, Viread, Emtriva, GS-9350 (cobicistat) and their new intergrase inhibitor, Elvitegravir, the QUAD will also be one complete therapy for the treatment of HIV. A once daily dose with a pill that is even smaller than Atripla.

Hopefully it will have less side effects and better tolerability than Gilead is expecting.

I arrived Friday night, ordered room service and then settled into my heavenly bed at the Westin St. Francis. Such an amazing city. It was a quick trip unfortunately. The meeting was on Saturday and afterward, I hopped on the red-eye and high tailed it back to New York. Chad is in Zürich and so I wanted to get back as soon as possible to see Hoffman. (I know. Can you believe how much this dog has changed my life?) The flight was okay. I’m just not happy with Continental’s new Direct TV. I want movies!

Two hours into the flight, I was dozing off when I heard, “Are there any medical personnel on board?”

Yes, I know. I’m cursed.

Apparently,  a young woman passed out and had some seizure activity. Needless to say, I jumped into action, made a quick assessment and diagnosed the woman with a case of dehydration and a subsequent vasovagal response.

Vasovagal syncope is the most common cause of fainting. It occurs when your body reacts in an exaggerated way, triggered by the sight of blood, extreme emotional distress, or hearing there’s a sex tape involving John Edwards with his pregnant mistress. The trigger results in a sudden drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to your brain and causes you to briefly lose consciousness.

So I spent an hour on the floor next to her husband, offering her water as she reclined on the seat, legs elevated so that the blood could rush back to her brain. This young woman was wearing a mohair sweater dress, tights and a pair of Uggs. It was very warm inside the plane. Ladies, please, I appreciate you dressing up to fly but a thick sweater dress and leggings? We’re not going to Alaska. Dress appropriately. I know layering can pose a hassle going through airport security but temperatures fluctuate inside the cabin. It’s important to stay hydrated and not to over heat during the flight. Otherwise you’ll end up passed out with me standing by your side, holding your legs up in the air with a Continental blanket covering your lady parts. In the end, she was fine and I went back to my seat.

Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. But your doctor may recommend tests to rule out more-serious causes of fainting, such as heart disorders.

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