The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'medical'
What does a cash-strapped totalitarian regime do for money? Well, one option is to sell its citizens for medical research, as it's now revealed East Germany did in the 1980s:
In another case, Annelise Lehrer, the widow of a former East German heart patient discovered that her husband Gerhard had been part of a batch of patients who were unwittingly subjected to testing for the blood pressure drug Ramipril, which was developed by the former Hoechst company in 1989. Gerhard Lehrer died soon after his release from an East German hospital in 1989. His wife discovered that in keeping with Hoechst’s testing procedure, he had been part of a group which was given placebos and had received no treatment for his heart condition.
The makers of Tests and the Dead said they had identified the individuals who had organised drug tests for Hoechst in East Germany, but all of them had categorically refused to be interviewed.Two thoughts: a) surely those involved can be prosecuted? And, b) I wonder which of the world's pharmaceutical companies are doing similar deals in, say, North Korea today.
Blogging ambulanceman Tom Reynolds on how to tell if someone's faking unconsciousness:
The easiest, and quickest way to see if someone is faking unconsciousness is to lightly brush your finger against their eyelashes. If their eyes flicker, then they are almost certainly faking it. Also if they try to keep their eyes closed when you try to open them, they are definitely faking it. Another way of checking is to hold their hand over their face, and let it drop. People tend to be reluctant to let their hand hit them on the nose, and so the hand will instead magically drop to one side.
My favourite tale of how to uncover a pretender in a hospital setting was a doctor, who would loudly ask for the 'brain needle', to draw off some brain fluid from the unconscious patient via the ear. Of course, he would continue, the patient needed to be unconscious because otherwise they might flinch and the needle go into the brain itself. This was normally followed by the patient 'waking up' and asking, "Doctor, where am I?".
A long and very interesting article on the class of sleep disorders known as parasomnias; a set of bizarre conditions which range from night terrors to sleepwalking, sleep-eating, sleep-sex and more (one man even almost strangled his wife in his sleep, thinking she was a deer).
She had been eating in her sleep since her late teens, finding clues like chocolate frosting on her pillow or cherry pits and porkchop bones in the sheets. ''I thought I was the only person in the world doing this. I would wake up in the morning wondering, What did you do last night?''
Fifty-three minutes after falling asleep, the teenager gets out of bed and begins crawling on the floor, growling, his hands folded into paws. He seizes a corner of the mattress with his teeth and shakes it. After six and a half minutes, perspiring heavily, he collapses and becomes ''clinically unresponsive.'' When technicians ask him, he reports that he has been dreaming what he always dreams -- he is a large cat following a female zookeeper with a bucket of raw meat. Here's the strangest thing of all: this parasomnia is not technically a sleep disorder. Throughout the episode Cat Boy's EEG reports that his brain is ''awake.''
A man with REM behavior disorder appeared on the monitor fighting phantoms over his bed. A case of a person acting out a dream? ''Either he's acting out a dream, or possibly dreaming out an act. It could be that the brain makes up something to explain the movement created by motor-pattern generators in the brain stem.''
Earlier Wacky Patent of the Month: U.S. Patent 3,216,423
"APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING THE BIRTH OF A CHILD BY CENTRIFUGAL FORCE"