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Health & Spirit

D for Don't Know

Scott LaFee on

Q: What's the most commonly misspelled blood group?

A: Typo.

Observation

"I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso."

--Comedian Rita Rudner

Medical History

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This week in 1809, Dr. Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830) performed the first ovariotomy or surgical removal of an ovarian tumor. Local physicians had concluded that Jane Todd Crawford, 45, of Motley's Glen, Kentucky was pregnant with twins. ) McDowell thought otherwise and instead removed a 22-pound ovarian tumor - in an era without anesthesia. Crawford quickly recovered and lived to be 78.

Med School

Q: What is the "Lazarus phenomenon?"

A: In rare, but documented, cases, people who appear to have died (not breathing, no pulse or heart rate, etc) come back to life. Usually the originating event is cardiac arrest, followed by the disappearance of vital signs. But minutes later, the signs return. More formally known as "auto-resuscitation" and poorly understood, a chief factor may be the buildup of pressure in the chest caused by CPR. When efforts to revive fail and signs of life appear gone, CPR stops, pressure declines and the heart restarts on its own. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases, the seeming return from the dead is short-lived and the person soon succumbs to heart failure, which may have always been the underlying threat.

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