Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 175

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 175

Question 1

A young woman presents with swelling of the lips and eyes, has a hoarse voice and shortness of breath. This came on after passionately kissing her boyfriend. Her past medical history is significant for penicillin allergy. What is a potential cause for her symptoms?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Her boyfriend may be taking a penicillin-based antibiotic.

Liccardi et al (2002) reported such a case, that was confirmed by challenge tests, which involved giving the partner a placebo, or varying doses of antibiotic prior to kissing the patient.


Question 2

Who coined the term epilepsy as we know it today?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911)

Jackson is known as the ‘Father of British Neurology’ and coined the term epilepsy in 1866 but was actually preceded by Irish physician Robert Bentley Todd. Todd lectured on the subject in 1849 and did his own electrical experiments on rabbits to prove his theory but this has been largely lost in the literature.


Question 3

What is pituri?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Pituri is derived from plants of the Duboisia genus and is chewed by Indigenous Australians for its stimulant, euphoric, antispasmodic and analgesic effects.

Duboisia hopwoodi has the highest nicotine content of any native Australian plant. It also contains the anticholinergic alkaloids scopolamine and hyoscine.

Pituri was, and is, used in traditional rituals in Central Australia. It’s use at the time of European contact has been compared to the role of tobacco in indigenous American societies prior to European discovery. Probable traditional uses include analgesia during ritual circumcision, ameliorating hunger during travel, and as a stimulant before a fight


Question 4

In the United Arab Emirates, what unique mechanism of injury accounts for about 1 in 40 cases of childhood trauma?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Camel-related injuries

The vast majority of injuries are seen in camel jockeys – who are traditionally children.

One unique injury is the ‘camel jockey’s tibial fracture’ (caused by the jockeys legs being squashed between adjacent camels)


Question 5

What is saturnine gout?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Gout due to lead poisoning.

Lead inhibits the tubular uric acid transport system in the kidneys leading to decreased urinary excretion of uric acid. The resulting hyperuricemia predisposes to gout.

The condition is essentially indistinuguishable from run-of-the-mill gout and requires an index of suspicion, detection of the lead exposure source and biochemical confirmation of lead poisoning.

  • Poór G, Mituszova M. Saturnine gout. Baillieres Clin Rheumatol. 1989 Apr;3(1):51-61.

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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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