Acad. Dr. Petya Vasileva: I saw the heart attack in my patient's eyes before he died

Acad. Dr. Petya Vasileva: I saw the heart attack in my patient's eyes before he died
Acad. Dr. Petya Vasileva: I saw the heart attack in my patient's eyes before he died

Acad. Dr. Petya Vasileva is from that blessed category of doctors who have the mission, knowledge and talent to bring back the light to people who lived in darkness for years. "It's great when a person sees in front of your eyes," says the manager of the Specialized Eye Hospital "Acad. Pashev" - training base of the Medical University - Sofia. And this happens every day in her practice. "I look people in the eye. Everything is written in them: intelligence, kindness, sincerity, even lying. The eye is the most perfect organ, a masterpiece of evolution. They are a wonderful portrait of a person, a window to the brain and a mirror of the soul," says the famous ophthalmologist.

In 2003, she was elected an academician and became the first recipient of the highest honor "Doctor of the Year" of the Republic of Bulgaria. He is the author of 12 textbooks, over 500 articles, a member of the leadership of 12 international organizations, co-chairman for Europe of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. He has a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in the USA, has served two terms on the World Council of Ophthalmology and is among the fifty members of the elite World Academy of Ophthalmology. Long-term chairman of the Union of Ophthalmologists.

He likes to quote Schiller: "To die is nothing, because everyone dies, but to live in darkness is the real misery." Academician Vasileva has dedicated herself to fighting him and is doing it successfully. About the eyes, light and darkness, about the gaps in Bulgarian he althcare - Academician Petya Vasileva in a frank conversation for the readers of My Clinic.

Academician Vasileva, you are the only flower in the purely male title "academic". Are you bored?

- The truth is that I feel not alone, but more responsible for my every word or action, as well as for every diagnosis. I'm not bored - from work I don't have time to think that I have this title dreamed of by many colleagues. You saw - the corridor is full of patients, I examine more than 20-30 people a day, and those registered 2-3 months ago. As well as urgently ill - those whose condition does not allow them to wait for months for an examination.

I think I won't be the only female academic soon, but for now I won't mention the candidate's name.

You quote Academician Pashev, who said that "medicine without science is a craft". What is happening in Bulgarian medicine?

- A healer like us must be able to observe, study, analyze the things he does. Academician Pashev is a far-sighted person, I respect him a lot, here we are, we have become commercial companies. What is happening in our country is a tragedy, a catastrophe. Because people, quite superficially, have observed elements of a market attitude to the problem. But medicine is by no means a market element. For me, what was done in 1999-2000 is a crime! And I say it without any qualms!

There is something unpleasant in human nature - to follow the path of least resistance. Individuals are the people who go against the grain, who bang their heads against the wall trying to figure out what is stronger…

What makes doctors "sell" he alth?

- A situation around me: - Good doctor, miserable salary, his wife laid off, two children and all bills remain on his salary. He is simply forced to go out and sell… Low wages coupled with an onslaught of the market economy have led to

degradation of much of the medical establishment

The dominant thing now is not to cure the patient, but to make the most expensive path, backed by a lot of money.

On top of that, the over-offered services also have a negative impact. You can only close an eye office or lab if there are enough others. Or to open a new hospital if one is already closed. This is the tragedy of our he alth care - unnecessary operations, unnecessary tests, especially in cardiology. But right, when you buy a device, it has to pay off… And whoever comes in, you do unnecessary research on him. This is an abuse of a person's right to he alth and a doctor's morals - they are very fragile. Not I, but great thinkers have said that greed will destroy the world. I don't know about the world, but Bulgaria for sure!

Will the he alth card be available?

- In rich countries, they analyze the equipment that is bought - for example, 5 clinical centers can use the same technique, because it is not stressed enough. In our country, everything is a market…

Every African country that decides it is no longer colonial, first makes a he alth map - to see where and what kind of hospitals it has. There is order - in our country there is anarchy, unfair competition. In my opinion, there should be investment in epidemiological studies, what our he alth network should be. More than half of the eye offices are in Sofia, something is left in Varna, in Plovdiv - the city is suffocating, it is polluted,

lack of oxygen, that's why we are sick

And do the eyes hurt from the lack of it?

- Of course! Polluted air affects the oxygen saturation of the cells, and there are areas in the eye where the exchange is most intense. They are highly sensitive to the reduced amount of oxygen, so eye diseases have greatly increased. The eye is a part of the body - all the tissues that are found elsewhere in the body are found in the eye. Connective tissue, rheumatism - affects the eye, endocrine diseases, thyroid gland - again the eye. Muscular dystrophy, not to mention vascular problems - the eye is a sponge of vessels.

You shared that when you look at our eyes, you see what is going on in our brain…

- Intelligence, honesty, sincerity can be seen in the eyes! Look at the eyes of some politician - turn them everywhere because he is lying to us. We are so lied to, but we have not learned to recognize the lie! No matter how beautifully they are painted, in some eyes I see the grayness, the soullessness - it is like a wall. The eyes are a mirror of the soul, they are a window to the brain - brain activity is reflected in them.

You have seen the onset of a heart attack in the eyes of your patient…

- Yes, I will always remember it! I saw the threat of a heart attack, I warned him that he should be treated immediately. His situation was drastic - he was overweight, led a stressful life, traveled often on important assignments. And I saw that there was a large vessel blocked, I told him that something fatal could happen in his body. He didn't listen to me - after a long flight he died abroad after a massive heart attack.

In November I was in Singapore, they formed a team there,

who can predict strokes by the eyes

Over 300 people are engaged in such research alone. I was very pleasantly surprised, because topics that I have set for development in our country are being worked on there. A special group is looking into whether the fundus can predict and possibly prevent a stroke - because eye vessels are brain vessels! In fact, the eye is a forward part of the brain. The eye vessels that we see with our equipment are the vessels in the brain. But this is not used enough in practice. Now even eye doctors can afford not to measure your bottom eye pressure. This is unforgivable, we have so many neglected cases, people going blind because of the carelessness of colleagues.

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