Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 359

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 359.

Question 1

Morphine is named after which god?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Morpheus – the Greek god of dreams

People have been using opium medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years. In 6000BC the Mesopotamians called opium “the plant of joy”.

Fast forward to 1803 when Freidrich Sertürner a 21-year-old pharmacist’s assistant isolated an organic alkaloid from the opium poppy plant. Through some self-experimentation, he found it was a significant pain reliever and also made subjects sleepy and the name for this new compound was morphine.


Question 2

A 62-year-old German had 217 medical treatments/procedures within a 29-month period. What was the procedure?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Covid vaccinations

The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal reports a 62-year-old German male who deliberately, for private reasons, managed to receive 217 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 within 29 months.

There was a prosecution case against the German, but no charges were filed. Instead, he agreed to be studied and have his saliva and blood analysed. He reported no side effects from all these vaccinations but he did have an increased quantity of spike-specific antibodies and T cells, but this did not translate to a positive or negative effect on the intrinsic quality of his adaptive immune response.

The journal article ends with:

We do not endorse hypervaccination as a strategy to enhance adaptive immunity

So maybe stop at the 199th…joke.


Question 3

Out of all the medical specialties who has the shortest life span?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Emergency Medicine – mean age of death 58.7

Not exactly good news for those of us who do EM. Although we did have a higher proportion of accidental deaths, which may fit with some of our extreme lifestyles (at least, I’d like to think we were that cool). It’s been argued that the sample size is low and with emergency medicine being a relatively new speciality we just haven’t had an older generation in the back pages of a journal for an obituary. However, prior studies have also shown EM specialists die younger, have the highest rates of burnout and have significantly higher rates of mental health and suicide. Additional risk factors for EM and other specialities included the burden of complaints, radiation exposure, exposure to harmful gases and shift patterns.

If you work in EM and want a shoulder to cry on, consider anaesthesia, paediatrics, radiology and psychiatry who all faired less than average (although not as low as EM). Want to jump ship and live longer, go for pathology, surgery and family medicine. If it’s too late, try to sleep well, reduce night shifts and maintain cardiovascular health.


Question 4

How many computer mouse clicks does the average emergency medicine physician make during a 10-hour shift?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


This is probably not a surprise to many that work in health care. We spend more time on data entry than anything else include direct patient care.


Question 5

Who helped to inspire the surgical glove as we know it today?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Caroline Hampton – the chief surgical nurse for William Stewart Halsted (1852-1922).

Spoiler alert – the two eventually married. With this in mind. Halstead had a strong affection for Caroline and wanted to find a solution to the peeling skin on her hands occurring after his operations. Halstead had adopted the germ theory of disease and put himself and any other person operating that day through a gauntlet of soap, potassium permanganate dip, hot oxalic acid bath and then a fine rinse with mercury-chloride.

Halstead paid Goodyear Rubber Company to take a mould of Caroline’s hands and develop thin rubber gloves (the idea of gloves wasn’t new, but prior designs were thick like garden gloves). The result was a success, so much so that on return from one of Halstead’s vacations, he found the majority of his surgical team and scrub team had all acquired their own gloves.

Caroline Hampton isn’t the only forgotten pioneer of surgical gloves. Dr Joseph Bloodgood, a surgeon (what else would he be with that surname?), discovered that his infection rate for hernia repairs went from 17% to 2% if he wore gloves. In the pre-antibiotic era, this was incredible.


… and finally, quote

The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations 5.20

Often abbreviated to “What stands in the way, becomes the way,” some may be discouraged when there is a bump in the road or a major obstruction to our goals. Marcus Aurelius thought there were ways to turn obstacles into opportunities. Obstacles can force us to keep digging, discover new talents, and find inner strength in overcoming difficulties to become better human beings. By acknowledging obstacles and working with them helps you deal with adversity and deepens your skill set to tackle challenges. Keep grinding, we are rooting for you

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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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