Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 184

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 184

Question 1

Where would you find Schamroth’s window?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Between two opposing fingers when testing for clubbing.

The normal diamond shape is called “Schamroth’s window”. If the window is obliterated then clubbing is present. Leo Schamroth (1924-1988) described this sign in himself – following 3 episodes of infective endocarditis.

Schamroth’s window


Question 2

What is the Banana equivalent dose (BED)?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

An informal measure of ionising radiation exposure by ingesting one average-sized banana. 

One BED correlates to 0.1 microsievert, mainly in the form of potassium-40. The dose is not cumulative due to excretion but does help illustrate the exposure in our environment. [Reference]

Eating 1000 Bananas is equivalent to one chest X-ray, unfortunately you will need to eat 70,000 to equal an average chest CT.


Question 3

What are over 70% of antibiotics used for in the United States?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Animal feeds

Antibiotics are put in animal feed to help keep them disease free, and thus grow larger and generate more produce.

This use is a major factor contributing to antibiotic resistance.


Question 4

Why should you avoid contact with caterpillars of the Lonomia genus, a type of moth native to South America?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Lonomia caterpillars can cause Caterpillar-induced bleeding syndrome.

This syndrome is a venom-induced consumptive coagulaopathy caused by a pro-coagulant toxin, analogous to that caused by some venomous Australian snakes.

The lethal case report by Chan et al (2008) is well worth reading and has some great images.


Question 5

What is the “Nigel effect”?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Transcendent expertise

The “Nigel effect” refers to the phenomenon of ‘transcendent expertise’, which occurs when progress is made beyond the frontiers of what is known or even thought possible to do. A famous example is when Roger Bannister first ran a mile in under 4 minutes.

The ‘Nigel effect’ is named for New Zealand Scrabble player Nigel Richards, and is mentioned in Anders Ericsson’s book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Nigel Richards is the ‘All Blacks’ of Scrabble, having won over 75% of all tournament games he has played and he has dominated World Championships for many years. He even won the French Scrabble World Championship despite not being able to speak French! [Reference]


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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books |

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