Sunday, April 17, 2005
MERCI mission on 'ER'
What is it with those 'Sex and the City' girls? They can’t seem to get out of bed. First, Kim Cattrell (Samatha in SatC) stars as a quadriplegic in 'Whose Life is it Anyway?' in the West End (good acting, pity about the script). In this week’s 'ER', Cynthia Nixon - otherwise known as Miranda – plays a 35-year-old stroke victim. Having a voice-over narration is a tactic that only really works with a guest star. Being inside the head of stranger would not be nearly as fascinating. Let’s face it, the pathos in 'ER' is usually reserved for the hospital staff rather than the patients. Don’t read on if you intend to watch it on C4 (Monday, 10 pm) because a spoiler is coming up, although the ending is fairly predictable… The character undergoes a complete recovery following a nifty surgical procedure using MERCI (Mechanical Embolus Removal in Cerebral Ischemia). This is a procedure using corkscrew-like wire device, recently approved by the FDA. I don’t mean to be cynical (okay, maybe I do) but given the commercial nature of the American medical system, this smacks of product placement. Check out this press release. It comes across a lobbying strategy to raise public awareness of the treatment - a treatment that is available only to a few lucky patients who find themselves admitted to one of the 100 or so hospitals in the States in which this procedure can currently be performed.