Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 105

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 105

Question 1

Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian, attends your emergency department. Complete his presenting complaint:

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had…

Reveal the funtabulous answer

…an olive in it


Question 2

If one orders a Brompton’s cocktail, what might one get?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Non-commercial hospital grade analgesic/sedative

More commonly known as Brompton’s mixture

It contains the potent combination of morphine, cocaine, (occasionally) chlorpromazine, (mainly) alcohol and cherry syrup (initially chloroform as well).[Reference]

It was named after the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and was used in the 1920-30’s for post-thoracotomy pain/tuberculosis.


Question 3

What is the most poisonous snake in the world?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

The grass snake (Rhabdophis tigrinus)

The yamakagashi or Japanese grass snake to be precise.

The question is all about semantics:

Poison does you harm when you ingest it; venom does you harm when it’s injected into you. It’s “poisonous” when you bite it – it’s “venomous” when it bites you.

QI, 2008

…hence the Japanese grass snake is the most poisonous snake in the world. It eats toxic toads and stores their poison in glands in its neck (the usual striking place for predators) and causes a nasty surprise to anything that bites it.


Question 4

What drug was first found in Easter Island (Rapa Nui)?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Rapamycin (Sirolimus or Rapamune)

Found in the soil on Rapa Nui and originally marketed as an anti-fungal but had some side effects, most notably its potent immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative properties.

It is now used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients (prevents activation of T cells and B cells by inhibiting interleukin-2), coronary stent coating (eliminates abnormal white cells) and is used in the treatment of autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS).

Also if you are lucky enough to be a mouse then it will increase your life expectancy, however due to its immunosuppressant properties I wouldn’t go ordering it over the internet just yet.

If you climb up to the extinct volcano Rano-Kau on Easter Island you will discover a plaque commemorating the discovery of Rapamycin.


Question 5

What is the median survival time of chocolate on the ward?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

51 minutes

During a covert observational study in the UK it was observed that the median survival for a box of chocolates was 51 mins.

The highest percentages of chocolates were consumed by healthcare assistants (28%) and nurses (28%), followed by doctors (15%).


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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Burnaby Hospital in Vancouver. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments. Supporter of FOAMed, toxicology, tropical medicine, sim and ultrasound

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