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And Just Like That: Heart Expert Weighs In On Whether Carrie Could Have Saved Big's Life

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And Just Like That: Heart Expert Weighs In On Whether Carrie Could Have Saved Big's Life

We’re still recovering from the first episode of And Just Like That, the reboot of Sex and the City, after it arrived on Sky Comedy and Now.

While we couldn’t wait to find out what Manhattan had in store for Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, we were left blind-sided by the end of the first episode, which saw New York staple Mr Big keel over and die.

It's an end of an era for Carrie and Big (Credit: HBO)
It's an end of an era for Carrie and Big (Credit: HBO)

The tragic death happened after Carrie decided to watch Charlotte’s daughter, Lily’s piano recital, instead of travelling up with Big to the Hamptons (meaning it’s the second time Lily has ruined Carrie’s life).

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However, while Carrie was heartbroken to get home and discover Big was slumped on the floor, some fans couldn’t help but wonder why did nothing to help him.

Instead of, maybe, immediately calling for an ambulance, the sex columnist turned podcaster decided to just stare at her dying husband for what seemed like an eternity, before finally snapping into action.

Carrie comes home to find Big dead (Credit: HBO)
Carrie comes home to find Big dead (Credit: HBO)

Many viewers took to Twitter to ask why on earth Carrie seemed paralysed instead of immediately calling for help – even likening the situation to Jack and Rose in Titanic.

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So, we got to thinking about cardiology – and reached out to health expert, Dr Jeff Foster at H3health.co.uk, about whether Carrie could have actually saved Big.

Dr Foster points towards Big’s previous history, having previously had a blockage that required surgery (as we found out in season six of Sex and the City).

Some fans believe Carrie could have done more (Credit: Twitter)
Some fans believe Carrie could have done more (Credit: Twitter)

“We know that once an artery has been furred up with cholesterol and is narrow, it is more easy for this artery to continue narrowing until it becomes completely blocked,” he explains. “So in theory, Big’s warning shot could have been in 2004.

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“It is likely another, maybe more important artery had the same problem years later and this was enough to kill him.”

While many people believe that Big’s vigorous exercise on his Peloton bike could have killed him (so much so, stocks in the brand plummeted when Big kicked the bucket), Dr Foster says this is actually unlikely.

“Vigorous activity does NOT increase your risk of a heart attack UNLESS you have pre-existing significant heart disease,” he explains. “So if your arteries are already narrowed then when you exercise you need more oxygen and the narrowing means you can't get it. 

John James Preston's lifestyle is hardly the healthiest (Credit: HBO)
John James Preston's lifestyle is hardly the healthiest (Credit: HBO)
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“If this is severe enough it could precipitate a heart attack. But this is usually a gradual process and is unlikely to suddenly occur out of the blue.”

 Dr Foster adds: “Generally exercise that gets your heart rate moving is good for your because it gradually, over time, encourages a better blood supply to your heart and extra vessels can grow. 

“It also reduces blood pressure which is the main trigger for heart disease (except smoking obviously) . It also makes you feel good, releases endorphins, helps keep weight down, and reduces risks of other medical problems such as diabetes.”

So, the million dollar question – could Carrie have done more to save Big?

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Well, according to Dr Foster: no.

“It’s unlikely Carrie could have saved Big,” Dr Foster says. “If his demise was due to a heart attack, then it would be unlikely he would have been awake anyway, but more so, all she could have done would be to perform basic CPR. This would have meant, largely in his case, chest compressions. 

Carrie is left planning Big's funeral (Credit: HBO)
Carrie is left planning Big's funeral (Credit: HBO)

“But if he was awake then he was still breathing, in which case it is just about calling an ambulance and getting the blockage removed as fast as possible.”

And if, heaven forbid, we find ourselves in the terrifying situation where someone near us is having a heart attack, there are a few things we can try and do to help.

“If they are known to have heart problems and carry a spray they put under their tongue you can give them a dose - but only if you know what you are doing and what the medication is,” Dr Foster says, before saying do not “just have a go” if you are uncertain.

“The biggest problem I have experienced is when someone does collapse, we might think it is heart attack, but we just do not know,” he says. “Your ability to diagnose problems outside the construct of A+E is really tough and we have to make a best guess to try and keep the patient alive while we can get them to hospital.  

“This means: making sure the area is safe to help, and checking your patient is responding.

“If they respond but are drowsy call an ambulance and stay with them. If they do not respond - check for signs of life - this involves feeling the artery in the neck and listening and feeling for breath.

“If there is no signs of life call for help immediately and begin CPR.”

And Just Like That continues on Sky Comedy and NOW.

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV And Film, Health

Kimberley Bond
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