- He was the first to perform a successful fluid resuscitation intravenously.
- It was during the Edinburgh cholera epidemic. He had tried to resuscitate an elderly woman via rectal fluids unsuccessfully, feeling she would die, he tried an intravenous route:
- “I attempted to restore the blood to its natural state, by injecting copiously into the larger intestines warm water.. trusting that the power of absorption might not be altogether lost, but by these means I produced, in no case, any permanent benefit.. I at length resolved to throw the fluid immediately into the circulation. In this, having no precedent to direct me, I proceeded with much caution. The first subject of experiment was an aged female. She had apparently reached the last moments of her earthly existence, and now nothing could injure her – indeed, so entirely was she reduced, that I feared I should be unable to get my apparatus ready ere she expired. Having inserted a tube into the basilic vein, cautiously – anxiously, I watched the effects; ounce after ounce was injected, but no visible change was produced. Still persevering, I though she began to breathe less labouriously, soon the sharpened features, and sunken eye, and fallen jaw, pale and cold, bearing the manifest impress of death’s signet, began to glow with returning animation; the pulse, which had long ceased, returned to the wrist; at first small and quick, by degrees it became more and more distinct … and in the short space of half and hour, when six pints had been injected, she expressed in a firm voice that she was free from all uneasiness, actually became jocular, and fancied all she needed was a little sleep.”
- He published his results in the Lancet but as with most of medicine it took another 70 years before it was widely adopted. [Reference]
- William Osler
- See our Oslerisms page for further great quotes.
- Although rare, the CDC has collected a number of cases of anthrax caught from those making or playing bongo-drums from untreated animal hide. [Reference]
- It is the german for ‘witches milk‘ or neonatal milk
- It occurs in 5% of newborns related to the mothers hormones (prolactin and oxytocin). The milk in folklore was believed to be a source of nutrition for witches. [Reference]
- Having CPR performed by a bystander.
- The phase has been adopted from the British Heart Foundation “hands-free-CPR” campaign popularised by Vinnie Jones.
- See video below of my favourite, Mini Vinnie and a survivor of the campaign.
and finally…what is the Jo’burg Knot?