Health & Spirit

Foaming at the Eye

Scott LaFee on

Emergency room doctors see a lot of things. Lately, they report seeing injuries from Nerf guns, a children's toy that propels flying darts of foam. A newly published case report describes three patients showing up at one hospital on separate occasions with internal bleeding in the eye caused by being hit by a foam dart.

The report recommends that kids use protective glasses when playing with their Nerf guns. Adults too. Only one of the three patients described was an actual kid.

Body of Knowledge

It's estimated a person inhales approximately 40 pounds of dust over an average lifetime.

Get Me That, Stat!

According to the UK's Office of National Statistics, one in three babies born this year will live to see their 100th birthday. That's the good news-at least for the UK. The bad news is that, currently, a slew of negative health impacts, such as the opioid crisis, are reducing and even reversing projected life expectancies in the U.S. The average projected life expectancy for an American woman in 2030 is 83.3 years; for men, 79.5. That's a significant slowing and puts the U.S. on par with predictions for countries like Mexico.

Life in Big Macs

One hour of sitting and talking on the phone burns 102 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.1 Big Macs. Of course, most people these days seem to walk around talking on their cell phone, which poses a different set of health hazards.


1: Number of abortion clinics in Kentucky

Source: STAT

Stories for the Waiting Room

In a study published in Current Biology, researchers report that it's much harder to resist yawning when you're actually watching someone yawn and, if you're told not to yawn, the urge becomes even stronger. Are you yawning now? Stop it! Heh, heh.

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating record for bacon is 7.75 pounds in 8 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut, who clearly outstripped his competition.

Doc Talk

Tough stick: a patient who is difficult to draw blood from


Phobia of the Week

Phalacrophobia: fear of becoming bald

Best Medicine

The patient sat there looking ill and asked, "'Flu?"

To which the doctor replied, ''No, I drove in"


"The word 'aerobics' comes from two Greek words: 'aero,' meaning 'ability to,' and 'bics,' meaning 'withstand tremendous boredom.'"?

Humorist Dave Barry

Medical History

This week in 1928, the "iron lung" was used by its first patient, a young girl at the Children's Hospital in Boston. It was an artificial respirator that enabled her to breathe despite being paralyzed by polio. The negative pressure ventilator was invented by a young Harvard doctor, Philip Drinker, and became widely used. From the neck down, a patient's body lay in a sealed galvanized iron box. The three-foot by seven-foot, 700-pound apparatus was powered by two household vacuum cleaners. As air was pumped out of the metal box, the patient's lungs drew in air, which was expelled as the air pump cycle next increased pressure in a cycle mimicking normal breathing rate.

Self Exam

Q: Why do women seem to always feel colder than men?

A: Reality is too variable to make this statement with any absolute certainty. Women do, typically, have a higher percentage of body fat, which conserves heat. But its function is primarily to keep vital internal organs warm. The extra fat usually does nothing for extremities. There is some research to suggest women have a lower threshold for cold than men. Exposed to the same freezing temperature, the blood vessels in women's fingers constrict more than men's. And when your hands and feet feel cold, so does the rest of your body.

Curtain Calls

Thomas Urquhart, a Scottish aristocrat, polymath and first translator of Rabelais into English, is said to have literally died laughing in 1660 upon hearing that Charles II had taken the throne.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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