Category:
Medicine

Advice for Doctors, 1948

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 28, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Medicine, Smoking and Tobacco, 1940s

People Catchers

People Catchers = Fishing lures excised from impaled anglers.

Displays of them are on view at several hospitals in Wisconsin. More info: Catholic Health World

image source: reddit

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Medicine, Sports

The Penile Plethysmograph

I had to post this item today, to accompany Alex's "pot-sex" post, only because how often does one get to use the great word "plethysmograph?"



Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 31, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Medicine, Science, Sexuality, Technology, Genitals

Dr. Somers’ Cocaine Cure for Arthritis

Back in the late 1970s, Dr. Lowell Somers, chief of staff at Redbud Community Hospital, made headlines by claiming to have discovered that cocaine could cure arthritis. Somers explained that he discovered this by observing his identical twin cousins, Chuck and Rick. Chuck had arthritis, but Rick didn't. And Rick was a cocaine user, while Chuck wasn't.

Somers said he had successfully treated a dozen rheumatoid patients with cocaine. His procedure:

Somers' patients take the powder by sniffing it through a straw or chewing it on a piece of cotton. They take about four doses of 100 milligrams each day, but the frequency is later reduced.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Apr 13, 1979



It didn't take long for authorities to shut him down, which they did by charging that he was addicted to demerol and cocaine, and revoking his medical license. I guess he was taking the cure himself. Some info from The Oklahoman:

The California licensing board told The Oklahoman... that Somers was placed on probation in 1980 for addiction to demerol and cocaine; that he later was paroled but was placed on probation again in 1984 for 10 years for violating terms of that probation. A complaint signed by the California agency chairman states that Somers was examined by psychiatrists and found to be suffering from a psychosis; that he treated patients with a mixture of cocaine and hydrochloride and that he "manifested a sincere belief in the value of his treatments with cocaine."

This sidestepped the issue of whether he may actually have been right about the medical benefit of cocaine for people with arthritis. It doesn't seem entirely implausible to me.

However, some googling pulls up an article suggesting that cocaine use may actually cause rheumatologic conditions. Although the authors admit they're not sure if the cocaine is the culprit, or the contaminants in the cocaine.

On the other hand, there's quite a bit of literature about the potential medical benefits of coca leaves, which people have been consuming in South America for thousands of years. Although coca leaves are a far cry from the pure cocaine Somers was using.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Apr 13, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Drugs, Health, Medicine, 1970s

The Philadelphia Resurrectionists

Jefferson Medical College is still extant. Not sure if their literature highlights this incident.

Source: The Boston Weekly Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 19 Dec 1882, Tue Page 5





Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 08, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Crime, Death, Education, Medicine, Cemeteries, Graveyards, Crypts, Mortuaries and Other Funereal Pursuits, Nineteenth Century

The Twilight Sleep Association

Rendering a pregnant woman unconscious in the delivery room is pretty much frowned upon nowadays, except for emergencies. But at one point, it was regarded as the newest sophistication of the birthing process.

Article from 1915 here.

Modern essay here.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Apr 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies, Medicine, Twentieth Century

Trampling Treatment

1983: Dr. Huang Xianjian's 'trampling treatment' for lumbago sufferers consisted of "climbing on top of the bed and jumping up and down on their backs."

It reminds me of the "impact therapy" we posted about a while back which involved hitting patients with 20-pound sandbags.

Bangor Daily News - Oct 13, 1983

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 26, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Medicine, 1980s

Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray

Back in 2012, the Army awarded a grant to Dr. Michael Kubek of the Indiana University School of Medicine to develop an "anti-suicide nasal spray". TheMarySue.com gives some details:

the spray would deliver an extra dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, (TRH for short) which causes a “euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect.” TRH has been used in the past to treat severe depression and bi-polar disorders. Between the quick-acting effect of the chemical and fairly direct delivery system, the drug might be able to literally stop people from killing themselves on the spot.

The Military Suicide Research Consortium offers some more info, similarly emphasizing that a primary benefit of the nasal spray was that it would be quick-acting. So I'm assuming the idea was that if someone was thinking about suicide, they could squirt the spray up their nose and the thoughts would go away. Although this suggests a problem. If someone was serious about suicide, wouldn't they purposefully not use the nasal spray?

The Army grant was for three years. But I can't find any follow-up indicating whether the spray was successfully developed. Although I did find that Dr. Kubek died in 2019.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 05, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Medicine, Suicide

Doctor needs money

An unusual list of what a country doctor in 1924 was willing to accept as payment. I wonder if my doctor would accept some goose feathers and soft-shell turtles as a co-pay?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar 13, 1924



Letter sent out by a doctor at Paige, Tex.:

I expect a prompt settlement of all accounts due me. If not possible to settle in cash, any of the following named articles will be acceptable, viz.:
Cotton seed, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, billygoats, live catfish over 1 lb. each, bulldogs, registered bird dogs, skunk hides (dry), deer hides, shotguns, cedar posts, watches, gold teeth, diamonds, cream checks, pine trees (2 ft. in diameter, 30 ft. long), automobiles, new or secondhand; peanuts, black-eyed peas, Liberty Bonds, land notes, bacon, lard, country hams, clean goose feathers, soft-shell turtles over 5 lbs. each. Anything that can be sold for cash legally.
I need the money.

I have no idea what "cream checks" are. Google doesn't provide an answer.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 27, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Medicine, Money, 1920s

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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