Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 121

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 121

Question 1

The Valsalva manoeuvre. We’re all familiar with it for treating SVT, but what was it initially used for?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Initially used to expel pus from the middle ear.

Question 2

Name one of two (unrelated) drugs which are known as the “zombie drug” due to their effects.

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Krokodil ordesomorphine (an injectable opioid of abuse), made headlines in 2013 as the “zombie drug” due to the number of soft tissue infections/necrosis around injection sites and the ‘zombie-like’ behaviour of addicts. [Reference]


isolated from many venomous animals, including the pufferfish – was suggested as the ingredient in Haitian voodoo rituals responsible for creating “voodoo zombies”, although there has been limited evidence to support this. [Reference]

Question 3

Let’s go back to the basics for a second. How many times a day do you chart a medication to be given as “stat” or ask for something “stat“? What is “stat” short for and what does it mean?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Stat is short for the latin word statim, which means ‘immediately

Question 4

Peter Chamberlen (1560-1631) is credited with the creation of what medical assistive device?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Obstetric forceps

This invention, which is still used today, was initially a closely guarded secret and would be brought to the patients house in a box with gilded carvings. The patient would be blindfolded so that she would not see them.

Question 5

William Coley (1862-1936) created Coley’s toxins in the late 1800’s. What was the toxin used to treat?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Coley created a mixture of toxins from Streptococcus or Serratia species (or the organisms themselves) as a treatment for malignancy (particularly sarcomas)

Essentially an immunotherapeutic agent,  well before its time. [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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