The medical world is second to none. Just last year, for example, a 34-year-old old man developed an allergy to cold air. There was also a Brazilian fella who surprised his doctors with having three kidneys. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of memorable cases that continue to surprise us to this day. And you can find most of them on the subreddit r/MEDizzy. It's an online community created for medical professionals to discuss everything and anything that crosses their minds (or operating tables) and it has seen quite a few interesting posts during the 3 years of its existence. Here are some of them.
James Harrison The "Man With The Golden Arm"
After needing 13 liters of blood for a surgery at the age of 13, a man named James Harrison pledged to donate blood once he turned 18. It was discovered that his blood contained a rare antigen which cured Rhesus disease. He has donated blood a record 1,000 times and saved 2,000,000 lives.
General practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D., told Bored Panda that it might be just a matter of time before we get many more cool medical cases. "I'm excited about a few things," she said. "Let's start with wearable technology. I think this has tremendous importance in medicine. Say a person checks their own blood pressure and brings those readings to the doctor. Blood pressure is a huge thing. It's a major cardiovascular risk factor that is responsible not only for heart attack, but it can also be responsible for stroke, kidney disease, and vascular damage."
"The problem is when patients come into the office, they're nervous, they're sometimes fatigued, they're sometimes depressed, or anxious. And all of these things can cause the blood pressure to go up and give us artificially high readings. But imagine when a patient comes in with a reliable wearable (and I say reliable because the wrist ones are not ready for primetime) ... Then instead of focusing just on the one reading that I get in my office, I'm faced with a dozen readings, so I can get to a better conclusion about whether or not this person should, in fact, be treated."
This Man Is A Hero
Maurice Hilleman developed vaccines for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae, among many others. He saved more lives than any other scientist during the 20th century.
Another thing Gorfinkel is psyched about is messenger RNA technology. "Most people think about mRNA only in terms of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines. True, they've saved millions of lives at this point. But I think we can look forward to years in advance where they'll continue to save millions of lives, and not just from COVID but from other diseases as well," the doctor said.
"Here's a little-known factoid: messenger RNA research began 30 years ago ... Pfizer was focusing their research on influenza, prior to COVID, and when the pandemic began, they basically pivoted to all the efforts on COVID instead. However, they are returning to that research on influenza ... and with the messenger RNA technology, we could maybe even come up with a universal influenza vaccine that's long been a goal of medical science."
The Medical Staff Of An Organ-Donation Operation Bow To Pay Tribute To 17-Year-Old Female Organ Donor Who Has Saved Multiple Human Lives
There's another technology that might be coming to a doctor near you which can really accelerate the use of various handheld devices. "Imagine ultrasound technology in a GP's office," Gorfinkel said. "Right now, when GPs want to know what's happening in a person's body, they have to send them to a separate radiology lab where they have to make an appointment, and sometimes wait weeks to get that appointment, and then come back for their answers. But imagine in very Star Trek fashion that a doctor could pull out an ultrasound probe. It should allow us to take a look at our phone and diagnose things like ectopic pregnancy, diagnose why a person has a heart murmur, diagnose acute appendicitis, pneumonia... And if you think I'm talking Star Trek, actually, I'm not. This technology exists. And medical students in modern schools are being taught how to use it."
The doctor said that even though it might sound paradoxical, she's most excited about changing the mundane. The steps that might seem simple can often snowball into big differences.
Me And My Grandpa In Medical School 70 Years Apart (Equally Sleep Deprived)
The moderators of the subreddit were also kind enough to have a little chat with us about the content they curate. "The r/MEDizzy community connects premeds, medical students, nurses, doctors, paramedics, people who want to pursue medical careers in the future, as well as regular medical passionates who are interested in medicine," they told Bored Panda.
Together, they share all kinds of information but according to those in charge of the subreddit, the most popular topics on r/MEDizzy could be categorized into two groups: medical cases, published by those who have a medical background, and posts in which non-medical subscribers share cases of themselves or their family members.
I Was The First And Youngest Baby In Victoria Australia To Recieve A Liver Transplant. I'm 24 Years Post Transplant Now!
This Photograph Shows The Dramatic Differences In Two Boys Who Were Exposed To The Same Smallpox Source – One Was Vaccinated, One Was Not.
2 Surgeons After Successfully Removing A Set Of Brain Tumors During A 32 Hour Surgery
"As moderators, we do our best to keep the overall quality of posts as high as possible. Thankfully, our community is very active in reporting content that violates our (or general Reddit) rules. One of the most popular violations is self-harm posts or gore posts with no case description. Of course, there are many inappropriate comments we have to remove from the comment section as well, but I think it is common in every Reddit community," they explained.
It's worth mentioning that MEDizzy is a project that expands well beyond Reddit. For example, there's a MEDizzy mobile app (that works both on Android and Apple devices) where medical students and healthcare professionals share useful medical resources and the MEDizzy Journal where they provide up-to-date articles from the medicine world.