Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 115

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 115

Question 1

Dr Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald ran into trouble when she was stationed in Antarctica in 1999. What condition did she face and had to treat herself for?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Breast cancer.

Dr Fitzgerald had to perform a biopsy with the help of non-medical staff, and treated herself with chemotherapy.

Sadly she died from breast cancer recurrence in 2005 [Reference]

Of note – it was the Russian Surgeon Leonid Rogozov who removed his own appendix in 1961. [Reference]

Question 2

If I ordered a Pink Lady – what would I get if: a) I was in ED? b) I was at a bar?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

a) In ED a Pink Lady is a drug based cocktail used to alleviate symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux. Different institutions have their own take on the Pink Lady – but it generally involves an antacid (such as Mylanta) and viscous xylocaine – stirred not shaken.

b) In a bar it is a gin-based cocktail with the addition of grenadine and an egg white. Too many bar-related Pink Ladies in the evening might be relieved by an ED-based Pink Lady in the morning..

Question 3

The things we do for science. Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall drank a culture of Helicobacter pylori to help prove that it caused gastritis. Werner Forssmann, another Nobel Prize winner, did something in 1929 to prove his theory – what was it?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Self-catheterised his right atrium…

That’s right – he placed a catheter into his antecubital vein, advanced it 65cm and then walked to have an x-ray, which showed it sitting in the right auricle

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1956 was awarded jointly to André Frédéric Cournand, Werner Forssmann and Dickinson W. Richards “for their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system“.[Reference]

Question 4

What did Dr Henry Beecher demonstrate in 1955 with WWII soldiers?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

The placebo effect.

Dr Beecher gave soldiers saline injections when morphine was not available, and noted that it still relieved symptoms. [Reference]

Question 5

You keep thinking your pager is vibrating when it isn’t. What is this phenomenon termed and how common is this experience?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Phantom vibrations

The prevalence of “phantom vibrations” is a high as 70%, but can be stopped after a period of time, by simply switching the vibration setting on your pager off. [Reference]

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Medical Registrar fascinated by the quirky history of medicine and those crazy microbes.

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