Clinton syndrome

Nurses General Nursing


I was wondering if any of you (especially nurses in triage) have had a barrage of male patients come into your facility, complaining of the same symptoms that Clinton experienced. I read a couple articles on MSN and CNN about this "Clinton syndrome".

Here's MSN's article:

Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

Male AND female. Eighteen years old and up. I'm not kidding, you can look at the list of complaints waiting to come in on the board, and at least every other one is a chest pain.

They come in saying "I have the same symptoms Bill Clinton has."

Every single one of them is SURE they are dying because they felt a twinge in their chest.

This too shall pass. When the next celebrity announces s/he has some disease or another and we'll see a run on that.

sharann, BSN, RN

1,758 Posts

Well, how many of those may actually have a REAL problem? Let's be careful not to pre-judge. I just took care of a 35 yr old man who will need to undergo a triplle bypass soon (no smoking, exercises and eats well).

Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

Oh, I'm not saying some aren't legitimate. They all get the full work up. I, too have had very young people with MIs.

I'm just saying that the number have increased dramatically since Clinton's bypass has become public.

And let's face it: if you've been lifting trees (yes, we had one) and moving heavy furniture and your chest hurts the next day, and you are 20 years old and your chest hurts when you move your arms the next day, what are the odds that it's sore muscles as opposed to cardiac?

By the way, in this past week, not one of our cp patients had anything cardiac going on. Not even the old folk.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Whenever a celebrity has a major illness a lot of publicity about it goes out and people are more aware. I think this is a good thing. Prostate cancer got more screening and awareness after a few celebrities spoke publically about it.

More and more chest pain and true cardiac patients are younger and younger such as Clinton's age and I think Clinton is horribly young to be having a CABG. Baby boomers need a wake up call.

But 18 years olds? Hmm.........


1,711 Posts

I wouldn't be too quick to rule ANYBODY out. A friend of my brother was 25 and had taken a fall while mountain biking. The following evening, he was sore all over, of course, but had chest pain. Well, he figured, you hit the ground with a big splat at a fairly high speed, chest pain isn't out of the question. Next morning, he became short of breath. Workup in the ER showed.....yep - MI


23 Posts

i think i need to get checked out, full cardiac work-up, i have chest pain on a regular basis- always occurs when i'm walking in the door to go to work..............:rotfl:


587 Posts

i think i need to get checked out, full cardiac work-up, i have chest pain on a regular basis- always occurs when i'm walking in the door to go to work..............:rotfl:

glad to see i'm not the only one :)

also had a 17 year old come into our ed fast track last night. nope, just muscle pain (thank goodness). and an older sister who teased him as only sisters can tease their little brothers about being "wimps".

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

I know as nurses this sounds completely sensible but the talk shows and late night comedians were having a field day with the report after Clinton's surgery that he was still "arousable". :rolleyes:

Guess he will never live down that reputation.

We have also had a few very young MI patients . . . you just never know. I'm with Tweety . . . if it gets more publicity to wake up we self-absorbed boomers, that is a good thing.

(As I sit here eating chips and cheese dip :rotfl:


Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

this really happened

Had a father bring his 16 yo girl to triage yelling loudly she is having a heart attack. Promptly took her ahead of others, turned out her boyfriend had broken up with her and she was upset. After much reassurance he relented and believed she was going to be ok

He never apologized for his stupid GD behaviour.

Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

Tom, we see stupid stuff like that all the time.

But again, we give full cardiac workups with everyone who comes in with chest pain. We DO take it seriously, but again, like I said this week not ONE person who came to us complaining of chest pain was a cardiac event.

sharann, BSN, RN

1,758 Posts


I know you take them all seriously(even when they are crackpots!). I just have learned to alway listen to the patient, as you do.

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