Millas drama: what is the broken heart syndrome from which the driver would suffer according to her lawyer?

Admitted to intensive care, the driver of the bus at the origin of the drama of Millas which claimed the lives of 6 college students suffered a heart attack. According to his lawyer, it was triggered by Tako Tsubo, or broken heart syndrome. What is he talking about ?

While testifying at the bar of the Marseilles court on September 22, Nadine Oliveira, the driver of the bus at the origin of the drama of Millas collapsed when she had to explain what she had or had not seen before the collision with the TER.

One of his lawyers had then justified: “Under the effect of an intense emotion, the heart had a failure”. This Saturday, September 24, she was admitted to intensive care after suffering a heart attack. His lawyer evokes a “tako-tsubo syndrome”, better known as “broken heart syndrome”. He castigates “a relentlessness” of the lawyers of the civil parties “who engage in a competition to associate their name with forced confessions: it is torture worthy of the Middle Ages”.

Stress myopathy

The “broken heart syndrome”, mentioned by the lawyer, is in fact not a simple metaphor. In more medical terms, this may be called “stress myopathy”. This is caused by an abnormal contraction of the heart muscle, following a traumatic shock, explains Science and the future.

This syndrome is called “Tako tsubo”, because this term means “octopus trap” in Japanese, in reference to the amphora shape that the heart takes when it is subjected to this contraction.

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However, it is not this contraction in itself that represents a danger, but the consequences of it, as explained to our colleagues by cardiologist Antoine Sauguet, from the Pasteur clinic in Toulouse. “We fear that the abnormal contraction of the heart will cause a rhythm disorder which can lead to cardiac arrest. The patient remains in the hospital under surveillance for a week.

What is this syndrome caused by? “The Tako Tsubo results from an accumulation of stress, leading to emotional fragility and paralysis of the heart muscle“, details in particular the cardiologist Claire Mounier-Véhier for Health Magazine.

The trial should resume this Monday, September 26, but according to her lawyer, Nadine Oliveira must pass a third scanner on Monday at the northern hospital in Marseille”, which seems to make it difficult at this stage to continue the hearing.

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