Having a stroke, and taking clot-busting drugs at home

How bad did this doctor want to avoid the emergency room?

Freakonomics’ blogger Steven Levitt recounts a story told by his physician-grandfather.

The 80-something year old started having symptoms consistent with a stroke. Instead of calling 911, or finding a way to an emergency room, he “called in a prescription to the drugstore around the corner for some clot-busting drugs and sent my grandmother to the pharmacy to pick up the drugs. He crawled upstairs and got into bed . . . he took the drugs and just waited to see whether or not he would die.”

I’m not sure how true that story is, or if the “clot busting drugs” obtained from the drug store (probably warfarin, as I can’t imagine any pharmacy dispensing true thrombolytics at any point in time – correct me if I’m wrong) really made a difference, but that’s one tough SOB.

I don’t think I’ve heard of anybody wanting to avoid the hospital more so than that.