Monday, 7 December 2009

TAVI and Tavi Gevinson

About six months ago I spent some time looking up information about TAVI Short for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation; that is a technique for repairing the valve that lies between the heart and the main blood vessel out of it, the aorta. The valve stops blood running back into the heart at the end of its pumping action, so your blood pressure doesn’t drop when the heart has finished one beat and fills up again for the next beat.

Obviously everyone needs that valve to work OK, so techniques to repair damaged ones are important. They also need to be effective and when new ones are invented we need to be sure that they don’t cost a lot more for no greater improvement. That was why I was looking up TAVI.

I got distracted because I found Tavi Gevinson’s blog (

Tavi is a thirteen-year-old girl in Chicago (actually one of my more favourite towns in the US – I was once offered a job there). She has an amazing eye for fashion and a precocious talent at photographing herself and making web pages.

If you have nothing better to do for a few minutes have a look at her site, though you may find you take more than a few minutes. Keep saying to yourself – this girl is thirteen. How on earth can anyone get that savvy at that age?

There is a wonderful difference between art and science. Trying to decide whether TAVI is a treatment that the NHS should invest in will take a lot of work from health economists, epidemiologists and cardiologists. At the moment the NHS has done about 600 of these procedures but how it is paid for is different in every region. I reckon the debate will go on for some while.

On the other hand looking at what Tavi Gevinson does and deciding that it is brilliantly creative takes a few seconds. Maybe that’s why I’ve become more interested in art since I retired.

1 comment:

  1. Goodness me - and her blog's got a 6/10 Google ranking. It can only be a matter of time till her first book is published.