It is common knowledge that watching your Grandpa getting riled up night after night watching cable news opinion hosts rant and rave about their grievances of the day is bad for one’s blood pressure. However, scientists in a landmark Annals of Emergency Medicine study have shown that placing your audience into a blind rage can actually be harnessed in select patients to get beneficial results.
In the study, 150 Emergency Department (ED) patients in refractory shock, defined as systolic blood pressure of less than 90mmHg after 3 liters of normal saline, were randomized to either a standard, nontitratable drip of IV Levophed versus 15 minutes of a watching a cable news opinion show such as Hannity, Rachel Maddow, or Tucker Carlson on maximum volume. At 15 minutes, the patient’s blood pressure was checked and recorded. The study authors found that just 15 minutes of watching Cable News opinion shows increased systolic blood pressure by an average of 35mmHg vs 20mmHg in the Levophed arm.
“Change out that dose of Levophed for a dose of Sean Hannity,” summarized study lead author, Dr. Justin Raged, “and you have yourself a stable patient”!
Dr. Raged went on to explain that one of the most shocking finding of the study was that the effect was bipartisan, whether or not the patient was Republican, Democrat, or apolitical. The rage to turn off the TV for those of the opposite or neutral persuasion was actually as strong as the fury incurred among those who agreed with the host.
“In fact,” continued Dr. Raged, “the effect of these shows was so strong that they somehow even penetrated the blood pressure control mechanisms of intubated and sedated patients.”
Hospitals and insurance companies are excited about the potential of this intervention, also dubbed “Hannity Therapy” by its authors. Once placed on vasopressors such as Levophed, patients would need to be admitted to an ICU setting. Facing increasing costs and scarcity of ICU bed availability, Dr Raged suggested that hospitals look at blasting cable news channels directly into rooms of hypotensive ED patients in the hopes that then they can be downgraded to an easier to find floor bed as their blood pressure recovers.
Further studies will explore utilizing Hannity therapy as an outpatient in the hopes of sending patients in shock home from the ED, then have them lay in bed all day watching Fox News 24/7 as they recover.