STAT CodeBlueBlog SUMMARY
If you don't want to read the whole post
- Yushchenko seems to have been exposed to a large amount of Dioxin (barring outright medical fraud at multiple locations). This was not why he was admitted to Rudolfinerhaus
- The chronology of the exposure to Dioxin, the manifestation of symptoms, and the appearance of Chloracne does not fit the chronology of the claims made by Yushchenko and the Rudolfinerhaus clinic
- Yushchenko drank too much the night of September 5th 2004, and he likely drinks too much frequently
- Actual test results obtained from Rudolfinerhaus show conclusively that Yushchenko had pancreatitis and an enlarged liver, both of which are common sequelae of alcoholism
- Rudolfinerhaus tried to cover these findings with inaccurate press releases and a grossly misleading clinical report "conclusion"
- If Yushchenko keeps drinking, it is NOT UNLIKELY that his liver and pancreatic disease will progress and he will be left with chronic pancreatitis (which can lead to diabetes and insulin dependence) and/or cirrhosis (which can lead to death by numerous pathways)
Here's The Long Version
A Tale of Two Poisons: An Unwritten Dickens Novel?
1. First Admission to Rudolfinerhaus not due to Dioxin poisoning
If we concede the issue that Yushchenko has a blood test demonstrating severely elevated Dioxin levels AND we concede that he has chloracne as a result of Dioxin exposure then Yushchenko was not admitted to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in September for acute Dioxin poisoning four days earlier during his meal with the Ukraine Secret Service.
Chloracne develops months after exposure to Dioxin (italics mine):
Chloracne is a rare acne-like skin condition caused by certain toxic chemicals including the dioxins. It develops a few months after swallowing, inhaling or touching the responsible agent.
2. Yushchenko drinks too much
The New York Times reported that, according to their investigation, on the night of September 5th, 2004, Yushchenko ate with top Ukrainian Secret Service agents and, in the course of the dinner, he consumed: beer, vodka, and cognac.
Yushchenko arrived at the dinner around 11 P.M. By the time they got to cognac, it must have been the middle of the night (maybe Katerina was smelling Louis XIII cognac instead of Dioxin?):
The four men drank beer and ate boiled crayfish from a common bowl, as well as a salad made of tomatoes, cucumbers and corn. Later, they selected vodka and meats, and then cognacs for a last drink.
This is an abnormal drinking pattern:
The US Government defines moderation as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men
3. Yushchenko was admitted to Rudolfinerhaus for signs and symptoms related to pancreatitis -- a disease usually caused by alcohol
Thanks to reader and commentator pythagoras, here is an amazing link containing the official report of Yushchenko's hospitalization at Rudolfinerhaus. It states as diagnostic imaging findings:
Diffusive enlargement of the liver
Pancreas intermittently massive without clearly-defined edges, peripancreatitis
Liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) is a frequent finding in alcoholics and can be a precursor to cirrhosis (= often fatal, end-stage liver disease). Pancreatitis is a frequent complication of alcohol over-indulgence (acute or chronic) and MASSIVE enlargement of this organ associated with blurred edges is diagnostic for pancreatitis (and a bad case of the disease at that). See my illustrative CT images here.
So the physicians at Rudolfinerhaus officially gave Yushchenko the same diagnosis I gave him on November 30th, 2004 (see here).
The Ulcer Connection
Much was made of a NY Times report that endoscopy of Yushchenko at Rudolfinerhaus purportedly demonstrated that:
his digestive tract was dotted with ulcers from top to bottom
As it turns out, this was probably a cleverly manipulated phrase designed to obscure the fact that the fiber optic examination of Yushchenko's gastrointestinal tract revealed ulcers only at the top and bottom of Viktor's digestive tract, namely his stomach (=Gastritis) and his rectum (= the very terminal part of the GI tract; this is called "proctitis").
Again, according to the Rudolfinerhaus' own report Yushchenko demonstrated:
Acute active eruption of stomach ulcers, reflux gastritis of II degree
Gastritis and its most severe manifestation (ulceration) is not uncommonly caused by alcohol:
Common culprits include alcohol... Although gastritis can occur in people of all ages and backgrounds, it is especially common in:
- People over age 60
- People who drink alcohol excessively
- People who routinely use NSAIDs, especially at high doses
Proctitis is inflammation of the lining of the rectum, called the rectal mucosa. As to why Yushchenko should have proctitis, I will not speculate, but he is know to have had both gastritis and colon ulcers before, according to the on-line newsletter Counterpunch (no source given):
Yushchenko's medical records show that from 1994 to 2004 he had the following diseases: chronic gastritis, chronic cholecystitis, chronic colitis, chronic gastroduodenitis, infection of the bowels, and Type II diabetes.
The salient point is that the ulcerations at the time of Yushchenko's Rudolfinerhaus visit, were not as extensive as initially indicated AND they can be explained away by both alcohol ingestion (a known and given here) and/or previously diagnosed conditions.
4. Rudolfinerhaus Clinic: A Place for Diagnostic Mysteries?
The Rudolfinerhaus clinic advertises itself as a discrete and posh clinic. I have questioned, right from the beginning, the rationale for Yushchenko entering this medical facility if he truly had a mysterious ailment or he needed high-end care. One of my readers, a computer scientist and an "ex-pat Austrian," by his own description, commented: Had I an actual health problem, I would prefer, say, the U of Vienna's teaching hospital (for most things), or the Lorenz-Boehler (trauma, accidents), and so on. A few years ago, the Rudolfinerhaus had the reputation of a Betty-Ford-clinic for the affluent, with an add-on wing for the yearly check-ups of rich oil sheikhs. Unless that rep has experienced a sea change since then, I must ask: Why would someone who claims to have been poisoned check into the place when the AKH is a stone's throw away?
The Rudolfinerhaus clinic advertises itself as a discrete and posh clinic. I have questioned, right from the beginning, the rationale for Yushchenko entering this medical facility if he truly had a mysterious ailment or he needed high-end care. One of my readers, a computer scientist and an "ex-pat Austrian," by his own description, commented:
Had I an actual health problem, I would prefer, say, the U of Vienna's teaching hospital (for most things), or the Lorenz-Boehler (trauma, accidents), and so on.
A few years ago, the Rudolfinerhaus had the reputation of a Betty-Ford-clinic for the affluent, with an add-on wing for the yearly check-ups of rich oil sheikhs. Unless that rep has experienced a sea change since then, I must ask: Why would someone who claims to have been poisoned check into the place when the AKH is a stone's throw away?
More has been learned about goings-on at Rudolfinerhaus that deepen the mystery of Yushchenko's choice of treatment centers. As first reported in the Transatlantic Intelligencer, and then the on-line magazine, Antiwar.com, there were some serious behind-the-scenes internecine struggles at the Rudolfinerhaus Clinic after Yushchenko's visit. Apparently, the real "head" of the clinic, a Doctor Lothar Wicke resigned and according Antiwar:
It seems that his skeptical remarks concerning the unproven status of the "poisoning" accusations had proved injurious to his health. At a news conference held just after Yushchenko's first visit to Rudolfinerhaus, Dr. Wicke had accused unnamed individuals not on the medical staff of spreading "medically falsified diagnoses concerning the condition of Mr. Yushchenko." He also pointed to the complete lack of any evidence that the candidate had been poisoned, either deliberately or otherwise. This did not endear him to the Yushchenko crowd.
Quoting the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a leading German newspaper, and Austrian magazine Profil, Antiwar reports that Dr. Wicke received numerous death threats and explicit warnings from the "Yushchenko clan."
The author of this article, Justin Raimondo, goes on to quote this source (a pay link, in German):
"Thereafter Yushchenko's people made clear to Wicke that he should not say anything more concerning the affair, since otherwise [as Wicke puts it] 'one would resort to other means against me and the hospital.' Dr. Wicke is also supposed to have received death threats at the time."
Add to these new revelations the obviously staged drama of Yushchenko's brief return to the clinic for a diagnosis (see here), and previously noted inconsistencies in their reports, it is clear that the Rudolfinerhaus Clinic needs to be viewed as a hospital chosen by Yushchenko to protect the public from the full knowledge of his condition and its origins.
Punctuating this claim is the conclusion of the Rudolfinerhaus' clinical report which almost negligently does not mention the findings of pancreatitis and gastritis (both of which can be linked to alcohol ingestion) and instead, lists the one asymmetric finding : proctitis.
Conclusion: Acute proctolitis on the left side.
The negative general and alimentary condition could have been caused by either an acute viral infection or by chemical substances that are not generally found in food products.
Unless there is a translation snafu, the clinic's description of Yushenko's alimentary (gastro-intestinal tract) condition as negative is a flat-out lie. Worse, it is followed by the nonsequitor disclaimer that whatever he suffers from, it is caused by substances not generally found in food products (like grain alcohol?).
Thus the Rudolfinerhaus Clinic deflects alcoholism and implicates something nefarious -- like poisoning. This is the type of report one would expect from a fawning celebrity half-way house, not a significant or major medical center.
5. Poisoned? NOT
From the beginning I have said that it seems ridiculous to imagine that anyone with any amount of sophistication or purpose would have dosed Yushchenko with poison. Detractors of this theory write variously that I don't understand how backward, stupid and incompetent these spies are and/or life in the Ukraine is. I can't buy that. And neither can most other reputable sources and experts.
Murder by poison has largely been relegated to the history pages, principally because it is now so easy to detect
But why dioxin? "If you really want to kill someone, you use cyanide or ricin or strychnine," Dr. Andrea Sella of University College London wrote in thenewscientist.com
Murder by poison has largely been relegated to the history pages, principally because science has overtaken the great advantage that the poisoner of old had over his pursuers: the ability to hide his work beneath the normal calamities that afflict human life
Similar comments are noted throughout the net and the media.
Finally, there is the theory that Yushchenko was poisoned not to kill him but only to disfigure him. This is a dubious proposition; because, a moment's reflection would lead to the conclusion that the disfigurement could (and did) have the opposite effect. Also, Chloracne can not be predicted as a definite complication of poisoning and its exact manifestation -- given the rarity of its occurrence -- also could not be predicted.
What are we left with?
Yushchenko seems to have been exposed to a large amount of Dioxin (barring outright medical fraud at multiple locations). This was not why he was admitted to Rudolfinerhaus.
The chronology of the exposure to Dioxin, the manifestation of symptoms, and the appearance of Chloracne does not fit the chronology of the claims made by Yushchenko and the Rudolfinerhaus clinic.
Yushchenko drank too much the night of September 5th 2004, and he likely drinks too much frequently.
Test results released from Rudolfinerhaus show conclusively that Yushchenko had pancreatitis and an enlarged liver, both of which are common sequrelae of alcoholism.
Rudolfinerhaus tried to cover these findings with inaccurate press releases and a grossly misleading clinical report "conclusion."
If Yushchenko keeps drinking, it is NOT UNLIKELY that his liver and pancreatic disease will progress and he will be left with chronic pancreatitis (which can lead to diabetes and insulin dependence) and/or cirrhosis (which can lead to death by numerous pathways.
ADDENDUM: A NOTE TO MY READERS
CodeBlueBlog has not dropped the Yushchenko story. Neither have I dropped the other CSI Medblogs cases which remain open and will be revisited, when appropriate. At least two of the previous CSI Medblogs cases are actively under pursuit, and one of those cases may have a reemergence with important new findings soon.
I suffer from lack of personnel, researchers, editing crew, letter readers/writers blog maintenance staff, and HTML coding experts (I sent myself a memo to do better).
That being said, some of the topicality of the Yushchenko story is diminished, but there remain many questions. Enough so that "America's Best Political Newsletter," Counterpunch would take a lot of my story and write a feature article without attribution (let alone directly quoting me and attributing it elsewhere!).
The "Comments" section of the Yushchenko posts has been overheating, and there are two points, brought to my attention, that need rewording. #1. Although Chlorine products stink -- as I said -- Dioxin doesn't stink. Sorry. #2. Although Dioxin needs to be dissolved in fat, one would need only a small amount to do the damage seen, so it would not be hard to administer this dose.
Many thanks to a commenter pythagoras who has furnished me with important references, and has kept my position viable while I have been manning the furnace.