Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 161

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 161

Question 1

What did Dr Thomas Latta do in 1832 that has been the mainstay of resuscitation ever since?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

He was the first to perform a successful fluid resuscitation intravenously.

It was during the Edinburgh cholera epidemic. Thomas Aitchison Latta (1796-1833) had tried to resuscitate an elderly woman via rectal fluids unsuccessfully, feeling she would die, he tried an intravenous route:

I attempted to restore the blood to its natural state, by injecting copiously into the larger intestines warm water.. trusting that the power of absorption might not be altogether lost, but by these means I produced, in no case, any permanent benefit.. I at length resolved to throw the fluid immediately into the circulation. In this, having no precedent to direct me, I proceeded with much caution. The first subject of experiment was an aged female. She had apparently reached the last moments of her earthly existence, and now nothing could injure her – indeed, so entirely was she reduced, that I feared I should be unable to get my apparatus ready ere she expired. Having inserted a tube into the basilic vein, cautiously – anxiously, I watched the effects; ounce after ounce was injected, but no visible change was produced. Still persevering, I though she began to breathe less labouriously, soon the sharpened features, and sunken eye, and fallen jaw, pale and cold, bearing the manifest impress of death’s signet, began to glow with returning animation; the pulse, which had long ceased, returned to the wrist; at first small and quick, by degrees it became more and more distinct … and in the short space of half and hour, when six pints had been injected, she expressed in a firm voice that she was free from all uneasiness, actually became jocular, and fancied all she needed was a little sleep.

He published his results in the Lancet but as with most of medicine it took another 70 years before it was widely adopted.

Question 2

Who said:

The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Sir William Osler

See our Oslerisms page for further great quotes.

Question 3

Which disease did bongo-drum players get from drums made of goat skin?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Although rare, the CDC has collected a number of cases of anthrax caught from those making or playing bongo-drums from untreated animal hide. [Reference]

Question 4

What is Hexenmilch?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

It is the German for ‘witches milk‘ or neonatal milk

It occurs in 5% of newborns related to the mothers hormones (prolactin and oxytocin). The milk in folklore was believed to be a source of nutrition for witches. [Reference]

Question 5

A well known organisation in the UK has been running a series of videos. Beneficiaries of these videos are saying they have been “Vinnied“. What is being “Vinnied“?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Having CPR performed by a bystander.

The phase has been adopted from the British Heart Foundation “hands-free-CPR” campaign popularised by Vinnie Jones.

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Kelowna hospital, British Columbia. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments (namely tertiary trauma centres). Supporter of FOAMed, lifelong education and trying to find that elusive peak performance.

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