Time to challenge that cerebral cortex and put on those ‘mental’ dancing shoes as we trip the light fantastic of medical trivia, and lift the latch on the cage of the tiger of tease…so watch out for baboons as you embark on the Funtabulously, Frivolous Friday Five…
- In what condition could keratoderma blennorrhagica manifest?
- Reactive Arthritis (Reiter’s syndrome)
- Associated with reactive arthritis in 15% off male patients
- Skin lesions are vesico-pustular waxy lesion with a yellow brown colour. Lesions may join together to form larger crusty plaques with desquamating edges.
- They are commonly found on the palms and soles but which may spread to the scrotum, scalp and trunk also, and which resemble psoriasis.
- What parasite was the casue of the space occupying lesion in the brain of mummy 22940 in the Manchester Museum Mummy Collection?
- In 1774 a young girl was the first in this country to be sucessfully treated by this technique after falling from a window, what was it?
- Her heart was restarted with a direct current shock after 20 minutes.
The Rev. Mr Sowdon and Mr Hawes, apothecary, report on the surprising effects of electricity in a case report of recovery from sudden death published in the annual report of the newly founded Humane Society now the Royal Humane Society. The Society had developed from ‘The Institution for Affording immediate relief to persons apparently dead from drowning’. It was “instituted in the year 1774, to protect the industrious from the fatal consequences of unforseen accidents; the young and inexperienced from being sacrificed to their recreations; and the unhappy victims of desponding melancholy and deliberate suicide; from the miserable consequences of self-destruction.”
A Mr Squires, of Wardour Street, Soho lived opposite the house from which a three year old girl, Catherine Sophia Greenhill had fallen from the first storey window on 16th July 1774. After the attending apothecary had declared that nothing could be done for the child Mr Squires, “with the consent of the parents very humanely tried the effects of electricity. At least twenty minutes had elapsed before he could apply the shock, which he gave to various parts of the body without any apparent success; but at length, upon transmitting a few shocks through the thorax, he perceived a small pulsation: soon after the child began to sigh, and to breathe, though with great difficulty. In about ten minutes she vomited: a kind of stupor, occaisioned by the depression of the cranium, remained for some days, but proper means being used, the child was restored to perfect health and spirits in about a week.
“Mr. Squires gave this astonishing case of recovery to the above gentlemen, from no other motive than a desire of promoting the good of mankind; and hopes for the future that no person will be given up for dead, till various means have been used for their recovery.”
Since it is clear she sustained a head injury the electricity probably stimulated the child out of deep coma rather than providing cardiac defibrillation (see also 1788, Charles Kite). Annual Report 1774: Humane Society, London. pp 31-32 [Reference]
- What is now thought to be the cause of George III’s madness?
- Hereditary Porphyria
- It has been proposed that the episodic madness suffered by King George III (1738—1820) resulted from an acute hereditary porphyria, variegate porphyria, caused by deficiency of protoporphyrinogen oxidase.
- The diagnosis was based on the historical archive and a contentious claim that living members of the House of Hanover were affected with the condition.
- A re-examination of the medical evidence and the appearance of new historical material have suggested that porphyria did indeed exist in the Royal Houses of Europe.
- A hair sample from George III has been analysed. Although no genomic DNA could be obtained, metal analysis revealed high concentrations of arsenic.
- Since arsenic interferes with haem metabolism, it might have contributed to the King’s unusually severe and prolonged bouts of illness. [Reference]
- To prevent which disease did a London dentist suggest surrounding London with cannon and firing them into the air every hour?
…and remember kids…Honesty is the best policy…!