Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Nephrology and Hypertension

  • The discovery of urea and the end of vitalism

    Mostafa ElbabaDoha, Qatar In history, ancient chemistry is known as “alchemy.” It is different than modern chemistry since it was mixed with philosophy and pseudoscience, although it is considered a protoscience. Alchemy failed to explain the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by experimentation and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern…

  • Frank Parsons—A hemodialysis pioneer

    Eric WillUnited Kingdom “Disillusion can become itself an illusion if we rest in it.”— TS Eliot Frank Maudsley Parsons (1915–1989) was an English pioneer of hemodialysis in the mid-1950s. His contribution is well known to nephrologists, but came at a personal cost in recognition that he expressed in his published journal affiliations. Context Leeds General…

  • Sir George Pickering and the low salt diet

    Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, UK. Photo by Enric likes Funk. 2008. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 2.0. As a young man George Pickering was interested in his native Northumbrian countryside and intended to study agriculture. Persuaded later to read for a degree in biochemistry or physiology, he…

  • Sympathectomy for hypertension

    Components of the sympathetic trunk. Redrawn from Wolf-Heidegger’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. From Anatomic Origin and Molecular Genetics in Neuroblastoma. CC BY 3.0. Sympathectomy for essential hypertension was introduced in the late 1920s at a time when no effective medical treatment was available. It consisted of resecting several sympathetic neurons that exit the spinal cord…