Sophistry and VICC

What is sophistry?

This term has evolved much over the years. According to the Collins Dictionary:n

  • a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading and the art of using such arguments
  • subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning

Interestingly, in ancient Greece, indeed, pre-Socrates, a Sophist was a teacher using philosophical methods to teach virtue. They were extremely persuasive in argument.  As their worth progressed, they commanded high fees (unlike Socrates, who shunned payment). By the time of the Roman Empire, a Sophist was one who made compelling arguments in public, and used rhetoric.  Over time, sophistry has become a derogatory term; a crafted argument in order to represent a specious or fallacious statement or reasoning.

Although most of the explanations we consider to clinical queries in this series are far from purposefully misleading, or sophistic, they may still suffer from years of propagation, ‘Chinese whispers’ or simply arguments built on incorrect supposition and foundations.

Question (or rather ‘statement’)

VICC (venom induced consumptive coagulopathy) causes cardiac arrest early in envenomation (particularly in brown snake envenomation) because of rapid micro-clot formation in the initial pro-coagulant phase, occurring within the coronary arteries.

The subsequent question:

If there is widespread clotting within the coronary arteries, why do we not see clot in the arterial supply of other organs?

What are your thoughts?

We open this to our faithful readers…

Emergency physician. Lives for teaching and loves clinical work, but with social media, she is like the syndromic cousin in the corner who gets brought out and patted on the head once in a while | Literary Medicine | @eleytherius | Website |

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