Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 133

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 133

Question 1

Why do onions make you cry?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Propanethiol S-oxide

When you cut an onion, separate enzymes start mixing and produce propanethiol S-oxide, which is a volatile sulphur compound. The gas that is emitted reacts with the water of your eyes and forms sulphuric acid. The sulphuric acid causes burning sensation in your eyes and in turn leads to the tears glands secreting tears.


Question 2

Does a full moon correlate to extreme behavioural disturbances?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Yes, according to a study done here in Australia:

Of 91 patients with violent and acute behavioural disturbance, 21 (23%) presented during the full moon — double the number for other lunar phases (P = 0.002). Sixty (66%) had either alcohol intoxication or psychostimulant toxicity, and five attacked staff (biting [2], spitting [1], kicking [1] and scratching [1]). In contrast, 512 hospital security calls for patients with less severe behaviour were evenly distributed throughout the lunar cycle.

Calver et al, MJA

Question 3

What does a ‘Hampton’s hump‘ represent on a CXR?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Pulmonary infarction

Hampton hump refers to a dome-shaped, pleural-based opacification in the lung most commonly due to a pulmonary embolism and lung infarction

Associated signs of pulmonary embolism/infarction


Question 4

Protamine sulphate is used to reverse heparin but where was it originally isolated?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Fish Sperm


Question 5

What is StAnthony’s fire?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Erysipelas. 

It is an infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics, usually caused by beta-haemolytic group A streptococcus. 

Erysipelas is more superficial than cellulitis, and is typically more raised and demarcated. 

Or occasionally herpes zoster if you are from Italy or Malta.


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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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