Tag Archives: heart disease

Clinical signs in images of King Henry VII

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Funeral effigy of King Henry VII. Copyright Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Westminster Abbey has a superb effigy that was made for the funeral of King Henry VII. (Fig 1) Henry, born in 1457 and deceased in 1509, was famous for defeating Richard III in the Wars […]

Patients without borders: Cardiac surgery, activism, and advocacy

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   “Inspired by the media on the Dutch Heart Patient Organization” by Yasmine Hilhorst. In the 1970s, a “patients without borders” organization made it possible for people with severe heart disease to be flown to other countries for treatment that was unavailable in their home country. It was a decade after […]

When Papa Doc treated yaws

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A patient with yaws prior to and two weeks after a single injection of benzathine penicillin. 1950s. From Kingsley Asiedu, Christopher Fitzpatrick, and Jean Jannin, “Eradication of Yaws: Historical Efforts and Achieving WHO’s 2020 Target.” PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(9), 2014: e3016, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003016. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. “Our Doc […]

Dr. Joycelyn Elders: an unwelcome prophet

Howard Fischer  Uppsala, Sweden   Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General. From the National Institutes of Health. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. “No prophet is welcome in his hometown.” — The Gospel of Saint Luke, 4:24. New American Standard Bible   Joycelyn Elders, MD (b. 1933) was Surgeon General of the United States of America from […]

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

The Emberá of Panama

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Emberá are an indigenous people who live near the Panama-Columbia border. There are about 33,000 living in Darién, Panama, and 50,000 in Colombia. Until 1960 most lived in extended family settlements along the rivers. Since the 60s many have moved together into small villages, […]

Rheumatic fever: Evolution of causal concepts and management

Amogh BJ Trivandrum, Kerala, India Nanditha Venkatesan Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India   For centuries rheumatic fever (RF) and its sequelae scourged the lives of millions of people. Despite a substantial decline in deaths from the disease, rheumatic heart disease remains a problem, especially in areas of poverty. Over the past few centuries, a growing understanding of […]

Blood is NOT the essence of life?

Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1. Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic […]

“Rich man, poor man”: a history of lead poisoning

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Comfort in the Gout. Thomas Rowlandson. 1802. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The history of lead poisoning is the history of human industry. For unmarked time, lead has been around causing abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and irritability, as well as conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, reduced fertility, […]

The iron crab

Sean Varner Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Fleming’s epitaph, “Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia, marces,” translated as “Having enjoyed all life’s prizes, you now decay,” comes from On the Nature of Things Book Three by Lucretius which explores the fear of death. Fleming suggested the following epitaph for Bond: “I shall not waste my days in […]