Did You Know? Interesting Facts About Medicine. Part 4

Did you know (medicine, surgery, human health)What are two doctors, in addition to Dr. Watson, is closely related to the character of Sherlock Holmes?

Arthur Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes has inspired Dr. Joseph Bell, who was working at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and was distinguished by ability to make subtle inferences from the smallest observations. In its turn, Sherlock Holmes was one of the bases for obtaining the character of Gregory House, a brilliant doctor from the eponymous TV show. Like Holmes, House loves only complicated cases, cynical, has passion for music and addicted to drugs.

Why in English about the positive result of pregnancy test say “rabbit died”?

The pregnancy test based on determining the presence in the urine a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin was invented in 1927. But then yet was not research methods of urine so it was injected to females of animals – mice, frogs, and very often rabbits, which is why such test received the name “Rabbit Test” in English. After a few days female of rabbit was killed and by the changes of her ovaries was determined woman pregnant or not. Long time it was a popular misconception that the rabbit died only if the result was positive – hence the widespread in English euphemism for the state of pregnancy “The rabbit died”.

What is the most harmful drug on the total index of harm to themselves and others?

One of the oldest and most authoritative medical journal The Lancet has called alcohol the most harmful drug. By the criterion of damage alcohol is second only to heroin, crack, cocaine and methamphetamine, overtaking with cocaine, tobacco, marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, and many other substances. If we take into account the harm to others as well as summary measure of harm alcohol is far ahead of all other drugs.

What gaffe helped Louis Pasteur discover a modern method of vaccination?

Once Louis Pasteur, who conducted experiments on infection of birds with chicken cholera decided to go on vacation and left his assistant in the laboratory. He forgot to do next inoculation and went on vacation himself. After returning assistant has infected the chickens, which initially became weak, but then suddenly recovered. Thanks to this oversight Pasteur realized that the weakened bacteria – the key to getting rid of the disease, as they give immunity against it, and became the founder of modern vaccines. Subsequently, he also created a vaccine against anthrax and rabies.

What a coincidence has helped open the way to treat the disease of beriberi?

During the late 19th century, Dutch physiologist Christian Aikman was sent to Indonesia for studying the disease of beriberi, from which were dying a lot of local people. One day he noticed that the laboratory chickens had symptoms of disease. By analyzing the reasons Aikman found that a new chef has bought for the army ration not brown but white rice, which was also food for chickens. The scientist began to give brown rice to chicken again and soon all of them have recovered. Other biologists already have continued studies and found the Aikman therapeutic component in untreated rice – thiamine or vitamin B1.

What woman has managed to make herself a Caesarean section?

In 2000, the Mexican peasant woman Ines Ramirez without medical education has made herself Caesarean section and bore a healthy baby. When she went into labor her husband was drunk. The nearest midwife was 50 kilometres from the village in which was only one phone and it was not close to her house. After 12 hours of pain Ines had drunk the alcohol for anesthesia and carried out incision on the abdomen with usual kitchen knife, then had removed the baby and cut off the umbilical cord with scissors. Only then she had sent another son for help and with a newborn she was taken to hospital.

What fish can swim inside to the man urethra?

Candiru catfish which inhabits the Amazon parasitizes on other fishes: it swims into their gills and drinks blood. By mistake, it can swim into human urethra eating blood and the surrounding tissues as well. That is why it is not recommended to urinate while swimming in South American rivers. Moreover ensnared in the urethra Candiru unable to get back out of there and dies there what can cause a person’s death if not resort to surgical intervention. Despite the popularity of the fear to Candiru, cases of its attacks on people are very rare: only one documented relates to 1997.

Where did the word “humor” come from?

The word “humor” comes from ancient Greece, but there it was used in a medical sense. Antique doctors believed that the condition of people evolved by the relation of liquids in the body – blood, lymph, yellow and black bile. Each such liquid was called “humor.” When all four humors were in perfect balance the person could be considered healthy and happy.

What is pseudopseudohypoparathyreosis?

In medicine there is a term hypoparathyroidism – a disease by which the body produces not enough parathyroid hormones. If this hormone is in norm but the organism reacts badly to it diagnose is pseudohypoparathyreosis. This syndrome is caused by a genetic defect and is manifested in mental retardation and dysplasia. Finally, there are cases when the hormone and the reaction of the body is normal but the person has all symptoms of pseudohypoparathyreosis. This condition is called pseudopseudohypoparathyreosis.

Who and when made the discovery that the doctors in the hospitals need to wash and disinfect their hands?

In 1846 Hungarian physician Ignash Semmelweis had noticed mortality rate in maternity departments of Vienna hospital: in one of them woman were dying of puerperal sepsis more frequently than in the other. Precisely in department with increased mortality were helping to give birth the medical students, who also worked in the Infectious Diseases Unit and autopsied corpses. Semmelweis assumed that on their hands are “corpse particles”, which are guilty in such diseases. Then he offered to wash hands thoroughly, process it and medical instruments with solution of chlorinated lime that earlier none of the doctors have not practiced, and this measure proved to be very effective. Although at life of Semmelweis he almost didn’t found supporters of his discovery, was fired from the hospital, and later died, ironically, from the same sepsis, he became the founder of modern hygiene.