Many doctors have stopped calling cancer treatment a "fight" or "battle". They argue these terms misrepresent how treatment works and if treatments fail, the patient is left with guilt and a false belief they didn't "fight" hard enough. blogs.scientificamerican.…
Adam Sandler's movie "50 First Dates" inspired a real therapy program in which patients with early dementia watch every morning a video message of support from their loved ones. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_…
Today I learned scientists have been able to track the history of the AIDS virus. Through research they believe 'patient zero' lived Cameroon in Africa, and contracted the disease around 1908, after hunting a chimp and being infected with SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) wnycstudios.org/podcasts/…
Today I learned of Sir Ewan Forbes, an intersex British aristocrat and rural doctor who applied to change his sex in 1952. Afraid of possible ostracism, he alerted his patients, priest and friends in advance and found that they were β€œuniversally supportive”. He married his partner in a church a month later. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir…
Cancer patients who opt for alternative therapy die at twice the rate of those who stick with conventional cancer therapy. jamanetwork.com/journals/…
Last year, researchers from the University of British Columbia figured out how to convert blood type A into the universal Type O, which all patients can receive in a transfusion, regardless of their own blood type. This could broaden the supply of blood and ease shortages. sciencemag.org/news/2019/…
The story "the vibrator was invented by doctors for giving female patients orgasms to treat hysteria" was a myth. bbc.com/future/article/20…
During China’s Ming Dynasty, powdered smallpox scabs were blown up the noses of the healthy. The patients would then develop a mild case of the disease, & from then on were immune to it. Although the technique had a 0.5–2.0% mortality rate, it was better than the diseases 20–30% mortality rate. wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallp…
Today I learned of patient AB - "the first and only instance in which hallucinatory voices sought to reassure the patient, offered her a specific diagnosis, directed her to the hospital, expressed pleasure that she was well again, bid her farewell, and thereafter disappeared." researchgate.net/publicat…
In the 1940s and 50s, the Quebec government deliberately misdiagnosed 20,000 orphans with mental illnesses as they would get larger federal subsidies for psychiatric patients than for orphans. The orphans were confined to psychiatric institutions, many being abused and lobotomised. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dup…
Today I learned of Joy Milne, a β€œsuper-smeller” who found she could smell a unique odor on people with Parkinson's disease years before the onset of symptoms. Scientists then isolated biomarkers in sebum (oily substance from face/back) of Parkinson’s patients, paving the way to earlier detection/treatment. discovermagazine.com/heal…
Ancient Mesopotamians had written accounts of solider PTSD dating to the Assyrian dynasty (1300-609 BC). They believed the disorder was caused by the spirits of enemies whom the patient had killed during battle researchgate.net/publicat…
A 'cancer patient' underwent surgery to remove a lump in his lungs. It turned out to be caused by a toy traffic cone he inhaled 40 years ago. He did not have cancer after all. theguardian.com/uk-news/2…
Syphilis used to be treated by infecting people with malaria to induce a fever. While about 15% of patients died from malaria, this was preferable to the almost-certain death from syphilis en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His…
A nurse named Niels HΓΆgel is one of the most prolific medical serial killers of all time (85 confirmed, 300+ suspected). He administered lethal doses of heart meds to patients so he could try to revive them in front of colleagues for attention and praise. yourlawyer.com/library/pr…
Today I learned about Elizabeth McWilliams, a nurse's aid who took care of influenza patients in 1918. She worked tirelessly for patients before contracting the illness herself and dying. Her last words were "I am happy because I've tried to be a real American." loc.gov/pictures/item/201…
Today I learned of Stubbins Ffirth who attempted to prove that Yellow Fever wasn't contagious by smearing vomit, blood, saliva, and urine from patients in open wounds on his arms. While he never got sick, it later emerged that the samples he used had come from late-stage patients who were no longer contagious en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stu…
Today I learned about Patient TN, who suffered two strokes permanently damaging his brain’s visual lobes. Despite being consciously blind, TN was able to navigate through a cluttered obstacle course perfectly, as his subconscious vision, aka β€œblindsight”, was still intact. blogs.scientificamerican.…
Today I learned of Ruth Coker Burks. During the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, she used her salary as a real estate agent to provide support, medication and palliative care for more than 1000 AIDS patients whose families had abandoned them, and for some, burying them in her own family cemetery in Arkansas. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rut…
Donald Harvey, a nurse who killed 37 of his patients, was only caught because a medical examiner who performed the autopsy on one of his victims had the genetic ability to smell cyanide. This prompted an investigation and Harvey was discovered. usatoday.com/story/news/h…
The term 'patient 0' is based on a misunderstanding. One of the earliest recorded HIV patients was named 'patient O', standing for 'patient OUT of California'. Readers and journalists then misinterpreted this letter as the numeral 0, leading to its wide usage today. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ind…
Bottle caps are used to stop life-threatening bleeds for dialysis patients kidneycareuk.org/about-ki…
Paramedics are trained not to run to patients, as walking keeps them calmer on arrival and more likely to take in the situation. ems1.com/ems-education/ar…
In the early days of penicillin, it was common to collect urine from patients who had consumed the drug, in order to isolate the substance for reuse, as the drug was scarce and highly valued. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pen…
In 1857 Charles Lockock, believing there to be a cause-effect relationship between masturbation and seizures, began to treat his patients with potassium bromide which was known to reduce sex drive. In doing so, he serendipitously discovered what would become the first drug therapy for epilepsy. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
Scientists have improved upon CAR-T: a living drug made by genetically engineering a patient's T-cells kill cancer cells. They found a new type of T-cell that could attack a wider range of cancers than the existing CAR-T. This raises the prospect of a 'one-size-fits-all' cancer treatment. bbc.com/news/health-51182…
Today I learned of Harold Shipman, an English GP who is believed to be the most prolific serial killer in history. In 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of the murder of 15 patients under his care, with his total number of victims estimated to be around 250. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har…
In his early phases of Alzheimer's in 1995, 84 year old Ronald Reagan still received visitors at his office and worked out daily with his personal trainer. Routine is important to Alzheimer’s patients, and on good days Reagan's routine was the the same as it had been since leaving office people.com/archive/cover-…
A man complained of symptoms and admitted to taking VitD supplement purported to contain 1600 IU. Analysis revealed that each capsule contained a significantly higher amount (186,400 IU). An error in labeling made the patient consume 10 capsules p/d thus consuming 1,864,000 IU daily for 2 months academic.oup.com/jcem/art…
There is a genetic form of insomnia called Fatal Familial Insomnia which results in the inability to sleep, hallucinations, and eventual death of the patient with a few years. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat…
In film editing, that in 1994 only 3 feature films had ever been edited digitally. By 1995 none had ever won an Oscar for best editing. In 1996 "The English Patient" was the first (edited by Walter Murch on the Avid). Since then every Oscar winner has been.except 1998's "Saving Private Ryan". premiumbeat.com/blog/fun-…
Today I learned about Margaret Schilling a mental patient who went missing in December 1978. Jan '79 local news reporting her escaped. 5 weeks later, worker finds her body locked alone in a construction area. Her decomp left a stain in the marble of her death pose that endures to today. lightforcenetwork.com/oli…
A bezoar is a round, solid mass of indigestible material such as calcium and magnesium phosphate that accumulates in your digestive tract. A 2013 review presented 46 patients treated with Coca-Cola for bezoars. A total of 91.3% of patients had complete resolution after treatment with Coca-Cola. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bez…
The KΓΌbler-Ross "Five Stages of Grief" model originated from her work with terminally ill patients grieving their own deaths psycom.net/depression.cen…
Physicians in the middle ages would drink their patients urine to diagnose medical conditions. They were able to accurately diagnose diabetes because the urine tasted sweet. sekisuidiagnostics.com/bl…
Today I learned about 'holy anorexia' - Medieval Catholic saints "refused food, but drank the pus from the sores of the sick. Angela of Foligno is reported to have said it was as "sweet as the Eucharist", and also to have eaten the scabs and lice from those same patients" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ano…
Today I learned about Dr. Farid Fata, an oncologist who falsely diagnosed 500+ patients with cancer they never had, subjected them to unnecessary treatments, including chemo, and then fraudulently billed over $30 million to their insurance. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2014. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far…
In rare cases, traumatic brain injuries can cause FAS, or foreign-accent syndrome. This results in a patient's native speech taking on entirely new tone, or accent. theatlantic.com/health/ar…
In the US from 2014-2018, an average of 19,700 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. There’s an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. nfpa.org/grilling
Before antibiotics, patients with Tuberculosis were sent to Colorado Springs as it was believed dry air and sunshine helped in the treatment. TB sanatoriums, or small hut-like structures with ventilation, still litter backyards and properties around the city. atlasobscura.com/places/t…
A 2014 study found that you could increase the survival rate of a patient suffering with ARDS by 26% (The condition responsible for killing patients with Coronavirus) by simply having them lay on their stomach for 16-18hr a day while on ventilation. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acu…
Cross circulation where a second human (usually they patient's father) was used as a heart bypass 'machine' was used for the first surgeries to fix congenital heart defects in children. jtcvs.org/article/S0022-5…
A German nurse was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole after he murdered more than 85 patients because he wanted to show off his resuscitation skills and be the hero who saves them on the hospital bed en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nie…
Today I learned of "Daughter from California syndrome", a phrase used in the medical profession to describe situation in which a long-absent family member arrives while a patient is dying to demand inappropriately aggressive care. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dau…
Canadian researchers developed an implant which restores the movement of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease who have trouble walking, freezing on the spot and falling. By electrical stimulation to the spine via the implant, the signal reawakens the feedback from legs to brain. bbc.com/news/health-47803…
That, until 1791, the Bethlem Royal Hospital, or Bedlam, welcomed paying visitors who watched the patients and sometimes taunted them with sticks or otherwise abused them en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bet…
The term apophenia is the perception of connections and meaningfulness in unrelated things. Apophenia can be a normal phenomenon or an abnormal one, as in paranoid schizophrenia when the patient sees ominous patterns where there are none. slate.com/technology/2014…
Japanese researchers transplanted lab-grown heart muscle cells onto a human patient's damaged heart as a successful alternative to whole heart transplant. They turned adult stem cells into heart muscle cells, placed the cells on degradable sheets, & covered the damaged parts of the heart. lehren.com/news/tech/arti…
A positive THC screen is associated with significantly decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI (traumatic brain injury). ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2…
In 2013, Australian blogger Belle Gibson claimed to have beaten brain cancer using 'natural remedies' β€” selling a cookbook to cancer patients with all her 'secrets'. It was later revealed she never even had cancer, and was fined $410,000 by the Australian government for her deceptive practices. abc.net.au/news/2017-09-2…
The diagnostic criteria for sexual disorders were tested on only three patients before being added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, in 1980. No field trials were ever conducted. newyorker.com/magazine/20…
In 2013, a head injury left an Australian woman with a French accent. This is a case of foreign accent syndrome, which is a medical condition in which patients acquire a foreign accent through a stroke or head trauma. telegraph.co.uk/news/worl…
While GaΓ«tan Dugas was widely regarded as 'Patient Zero' of HIV, 16 year old Robert Rayford was admitted to a hospital in St. Louis in 1969, and died from pneumonia. Some of his tissue was preserved, and later tested positive for AIDS. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
UK surgeon Simon Bramhall marked his initials with an argon beam on the livers of two of his patients. A colleague saw β€œSB” on a liver during a follow-up surgery. The marks aren't believed to be harmful to the liver but Bramhall pleaded guilty to assault. theguardian.com/uk-news/2…
Ventilators used to be respirators that holds a patient in an air-tight horizontal chamber with patient’s head out, pumping negative pressure to help the patient breathe back in 1930-1950s due to the polio epidemic bymyhealth.com/the-earlie…
Today I learned of a woman known as Patient S.M, who has no amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for fear. As a result she is unable to feel fear or read negative social cues, and doesn't understand personal space. The only time she ever felt fear is when a test was held replicating suffocation. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
As a way to legitimize their rule, medieval kings of England and France would touch people infected with Scrofula, a disease which causes swelling around the neck, expecting the royal touch to miraculously cure the patients. Henry IV of France touched 1,250 patients in one day en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy…
Group of doctors in the US were developing a technique to buy time in treating lethal wounds by inducing the person into a state of hibernation. The procedure included replacing part of the patients blood with chilled saline solution. bizjournals.com/pittsburg…
Camel milk is safe and efficacious in improving long-term glycemic control, with a significant reduction in the doses of insulin in type 1 diabetic patients. nature.com/articles/ejcn2…
A study about VIP hospital patients discovered that physicians reported feeling pressured by patients, family members, and hospital representatives to provide unnecessary care. The study also found that the VIP status of a patient impact physician clinical decision-making. journalofhospitalmedicine…
HIV is reported cured in two patients both of whom benefited from bone marrow transplant procedures that were actually intended for treating cancer, not HIV nytimes.com/2019/03/04/he…
There is a program in Indianapolis, Indiana called No One Dies Alone (NODA) where volunteers will stay beside a dying patient who has no one to visit them. eskenazihealth.edu/progra…
Nellie Bly the journalist that went undercover as a patient in an insane asylum in order to expose abuses there in 1887, went the following year, trying another assignment saw her turn the novel Around the World in Eighty Days into reality when she traveled around the globe herself. smithsonianmag.com/smart-…
Today I learned about a procedure called ”tooth in eye surgery”, where the patient’s tooth is removed, a tiny lens is inserted into it, and the tooth is the put inside the patient’s eye. It’s only used for rare cases of corneal blindness and only a few operations take place each year. rnib.org.uk/nb-online/too…
1 in 5000 Americans experience sudden deafness syndrome, when a patient experiences a sudden pop and hearing is gone in an instant. dana.org/article/reversin…
Whilst investigating the spread of HIV in Los Angeles and San Francisco, researchers used the letter 'O' to refer a case of someone "outside the state of California". The letter O, however, was interpreted by some readers as the numeral 0. The designation ''Patient Zero'' was born. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ind…
Suicide prevention contracts were widely used by clinicians dealing with depressive patients asking them to sign contracts stating that they will either not act on or reach out for help when experiencing suicidal urges. They're now considered ineffective and may even increase risk. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sui…
Patients respond best to medication when color corresponds with the intended results, e.g. blue for a good night's sleep and red for speedy relief colormatters.com/color-sy…
Today I learned of the Aversion Project in South Africa. Dr. Aubrey Levin treated nearly 1000 patients who were submitted to chemical castrations and electric shock treatment, meant to "cure" them of their homosexual β€œcondition.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aub…
Today I learned about xenodiagnosis - where a bug that would usually carry a disease-carrying organism is allowed to feed on a patient's blood so that its gut can be then examined to try and find the organism and make the diagnosis en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xen…
Today I learned about Mexico's informal rehabilitation centers, were "kidnapping teams" are dispatched with the help of family members to abduct addicts and take them to private rehabilitation centers. Many patients are held against their will, suffer both physical and mental torture, and suicides are common. foxnews.com/health/tough-…
Drug diversion is a serious growing problem and "the temptation to steal drugs can sometimes overwhelm addicted professionals" to the point where they steal the drugs from patients and use them for there own benefit. ottawacitizen.com/news/lo…
Doctor Min Chiu Li was fired from the NIH in the 1950s because he gave chemotherapy to patients even after their tumors appeared to be gone. After firing him, the NIH discovered the long-term survival rates for his patients were far superior to conventional treatments. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min…
"celebrity psychiatrist" Dr. Isaac Herschkopf manipulated a patient into cutting off his family, giving him his home, signing over his bank account, and amending his will to leave everything to the doctor's wife. Yet Dr. Herschkopf still maintains his medical license in New York City today. nypost.com/2019/06/08/how…
Today I learned of the Staten Island Quarantine War, which began in 1800 the City of New York began quarantining patients on nearby Staten Island. Locals resisted for years, ultimately burning down the facility. At trial the leaders of the attack successfully argued that they had destroyed it in self-defense. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sta…
A 2012 study found online users lost patience in as little as two seconds while waiting for a video to start playing. Users who are connected to the Internet at faster speeds are less patient than others connected at slower speeds, showing a link between the expectation of speed and patience. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat…
An AIDS defining illness is Kaposi's sarcoma. This type of cancer is very rare and mostly affected elderly men of Mediterranean or Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. It can be found in AIDS patients of all backgrounds, and causes purplish legions in the skin, lymph nodes, and other organs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kap…
A study of prayer for cardiac bypass patients found that prayer had no effect on recovery and that patients who knew they were being prayed for actually had more complications ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1…
The patient in the National Geographic best picture of 1987 depicting the famous 23hrs heart transplantation which shows the Doctor monitoring his vitals while the assistant rests in the corner not only survived but outlived the doctor. zmescience.com/other/grea…
Ancient Chinese physicians kept a small ivory "medicine doll" in their desks to help them treat female patients, who were forbidden from showing too much skin to a male other than their husband. Women seeking medical attention would point to the areas on the doll where they had discomfort. atlasobscura.com/articles…
The only 2 patients to be cured of HIV were also undergoing cancer treatment at the same time; meaning they became cancer free AND HIV negative at the same time en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ber…
The practice of igniting a fart is called "pyroflatulence" and that there have been documented cases of flatulence during surgery being inadvertently ignited causing patient injury en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far…
Today I learned of Jane Toppan, a serial killer nurse who confessed to killing 31 people. She was caught in 1901. She would poison patients, then lay with them and hold them close as they died. She also fondled them as they died. She even poisoned herself to evoke the sympathy of men she was courting. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan…
A race condition bug in the Therac-25 (a radiation therapy machine) caused some patients to receive radiation doses "that were hundreds of times greater than normal". The bug arose after technicians became 'to efficient' at entering commands causing code to execute in an unintended order. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Dr. Cecil Jacobson used his own sperm to artificially inseminate his patients without letting them know, resulting in at least 15 children. He was sentenced to five years in jail. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cec…
Nearly 150 years ago, a German physician, Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich, analyzed a million temperatures from more than 25,000 patients and concluded that the normal human-body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. baltimoresun.com/news/bs-…
Neuroscientist James Fallon discovered he was a psychopath while doing imaging studies on Alzheimer's patients. sciencefriday.com/article…
Mary Jane Rathbun, better known as Brownie Mary became known for illegally baking and distributing cannabis brownies to AIDs patients in the 1980s. She was baking more than 4000 brownies per week. She was also known for wearing polyester pants suits and having a 'sailors mouth'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bro…
Today I learned of Fish Odor Syndrome, a psychologically disabling condition in which a patient emits a foul odor, which resembles that of rotting fish ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
The Toraja of Indonesia treat dead bodies like sick patients, offering them food, water & cigarettes. They believe the spirit is near & craves care. Funerals cost $50k+ for lower castes & $250k-$500k for upper classes. They are nominally Christian with a mix of traditional Aluk To Dolo religion. scmp.com/magazines/post-m…
During surgery on a 60-year-old woman, Italian doctors discovered one of the first heart prostheses - an artificial mitral valve - which was implanted almost 50 years ago when the patient was 10, by Christiaan Barnard, the surgeon who performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant theguardian.com/world/201…
A nurse treated female patient's genitals like a ventriloquist's dummy in front of colleagues. He was examining in front of three colleagues when he β€œpulled her labia apart and said β€˜Hello my name is [Patient A]’, treating her labia like a puppet”, a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel heard. walesonline.co.uk/news/wa…
Patients have to pay to watch TV in hospitals in the UK. manchestereveningnews.co.…
Israeli researchers have made a 3D-printed heart by converting fatty tissue from human patients to form "bioink" which built the heart layer by layer. Around the size of a rabbit heart, it contains cells, blood vessels, chambers, and other structures a heart needs to function normally. nbcnews.com/mach/science/…
Chronic pain patients can drop dead of cardiac arrest from severe pain. practicalpainmanagement.c…
Dr. Hans Asperger, who first identified what would become known as "Asperger’s syndrome", personally recommended some of his child patients to be transferred into the Nazi's "child euthanasia" programs, including one where at least 800 children were killed. He later worked for the Hitler Youth. molecularautism.biomedcen…
Selfies distort the face and can make the nose appear 30% larger than the rest of the face, and is linked to a rise in patients seeking nose jobs because they say their noses looked too big in their selfies vox.com/science-and-healt…
Today I learned about postoperative delirium, a state of serious confusion and memory loss that sometimes follows anesthesia. A patient that was under general anesthesia for 3-hours hallucinated that the hospital was on fire during her recovery. scientificamerican.com/ar…
Martha Mitchell effect is the process by which a psychiatrist labels the patient's accurate perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
Today I learned of Syndrome K: a fake disease that Italian doctors made up to save Jews who had fled to their hospital seeking protection from the Nazis. Syndrome K "patients" were quarantined and the Nazis were told that it was a deadly, disfiguring, and highly contagious illness. They saved at least 20 lives. mentalfloss.com/article/9…

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