Tag Archives: Australia

The most enduring fictional character in literature, Sherlock Holmes, created by a physician

Marshall A. Lichtman Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York   Figure 1. Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Homes) with pipe and Nigel Bruce (Dr. John H. Watson). A scene from the film “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in 1939. The plots rarely adhered to the Conan Doyle story plots and Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard and Dr. Watson […]

COVID time

Norelle Lickiss  Hobart, Tasmania, Australia   View of Earth, showing Africa, Europe, and Asia–taken by Apollo 11 crewmember. 17 July 1969. Image by NASA, Johnson Space Center.        Who will be the chronicler of this?  of how the tower fell,  of how the tolling bell  sounded the world’s crying.    And how the darkness fell,   […]

Ode to my stethoscope

Hilton Koppe Lennox Head, Australia   Poet’s note My Littman stethoscope has accompanied me on my journey in medicine across five decades into premature medical retirement. It was definitely more difficult to lay down my stethoscope than it had been for me to recommend medical retirement to many of my patients. This poem includes a […]

Plagues and prejudice

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Honolulu Chinatown fire of 1900. Hawaii State Archives.  It was a calm, clear January morning on the gritty streets of paradise. Honolulu, the capital of the newly-annexed U.S. territory of Hawaii, was ushering out a century of upheaval that had included the arrival of explorers, […]

The history of the Red Cross / Red Crescent in blood

GAP Secretariat Perth, WA, Australia   It has been almost one hundred years since the first Red Cross / Red Crescent (RC/RC) blood transfusion service was established by the British Red Cross in 1921. Today, more than 80% of all Red Cross / Crescent National Societies are operating a blood program as a core health […]

Blood debt

Jules Reich Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient donating blood, Australia, c. late 1940s. Source: Wikimedia commons In 1937, the first U.S. blood bank opened in Chicago. It was originally called a Blood Preservation Laboratory, but its founder, Dr. Bernard Fantus, changed the name to blood bank. For someone who spent a large part […]

Red Cross humanitarianism and female volunteers in Australia

Ian Willis Camden, NSW, Austalia   Red Cross volunteers assist people who were evacuated from Mallacoota to Hastings by Naval ship. Mallacoota was cut off by the bushfires that have been ravaging the east coast if Australia since late 2019. Source: Australian Red Cross with permission “There were a lot of people who had lost everything,” […]

Blood and bone

Sue Stevenson Melbourne, Australia   Person Performing Fire Dance at Night by Maris Rhamdani, 2018. Source The compression socks assist with my low blood volume but they look terrible with my summer dress. Secondhand, $12 on eBay, a 1940s cut with flowers and cap sleeves. The compression socks remind me of ancient old ladies and […]

Humanitarian for all: the life of Henry Dunant

Stephen Kosnar Lima, Peru   Henry Dunant 1855. ICRC. Source In his late thirties and bankrupt, Henry Dunant lived in abject poverty, on occasion being forced to eat bread crusts and sleep outdoors in Paris. It is a bitter slice of one man’s history, particularly given that only a few years earlier he had founded […]

Christopher Wren and Blood Circulation

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   An early instance of blood transfusion from lamb to man. (Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0) “A young man of marvellous gifts who, when not yet sixteen years of age, advanced astronomy, gnomonics, statics, and mechanics by his distinguished discoveries, and from then on continues […]