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Friday, February 7, 2014

the truth of fiction: House shows the way

Doctors at a clinic in Germany report that the TV show House (also known as House, M.D.) provided them with an unexpected diagnosis for a heart failure patient.
A patient with a mysterious set of heart symptoms left doctors in Germany stumped until they noticed some striking similarities to a case on the TV medical drama House. And it was not Lupus!
A 55-year-old man with severe heart failure was referred to a hospital in Marburg, Germany, to rule out coronary artery disease, a common cause of heart failure. 
  • He was almost deaf and almost blind, 
  • with fever of unknown cause, hypothyroidism, 
  • enlarged lymph nodes and several other symptoms. 
  • Both his hips had been replaced 
  • but otherwise his medical history was uneventful.

"Searching for the cause combining these symptoms — and remembering an 2011 episode of the TV series House, which we used for teaching medical students  — we suspected cobalt intoxication as the most likely reason," wrote Dr. Juergen Schaefer of Marburg University Clinic Center for Undiagnosed Diseases
Emmy Nominations Snubs Surprises
Hugh Laurie starred as Dr. House in a medical drama that gave doctors in Germany clues to a case of mysterious cobalt poisoning. (Adam Taylor/Fox/Associated Press)
Though the bedside manner of the misanthropic, Vicodin-addicted Dr. Gregory House may leave little to be desired, fans of the series this fictional character lends his name to thrill at his Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction.
House is a hospital drama where self-contained episodes are based less around the interpersonal entanglements of a show like ER, or the slapstick medical comedy of Scrubs, and the only bad guys are the diseases Dr. House himself diagnoses.
Given this premise, the writers of the show most likely trawled endless medical encyclopedias to come up with a supply of increasingly obscure diseases to keep Dr. House occupied across the show's eight seasons.

So comprehensive is the range of pathologies on the show, that Prof. Juergen R. Schaefer, director of the Center for Undiagnosed Diseases in Marburg, Germany, runs a medical class in which he teaches students to diagnose rare diseases using the TV show.
This class has led Dr. Schaefer to be known as "the German Dr. House" in the German media. But Shaefer's unorthodox approach is no teaching gimmick. Indeed, Prof. Shaefer and his colleagues' detailed knowledge of the show has had some surprising results.


Snark: caustic, opinionated, critical rhetoric. (1) a witty combination of sarcasm and cynicism (2) directed at pop culture (3) delivered with a sort of blasé world-weary tone (4).
1# Want a better anagram for Gregory House? ‘Huge ego, sorry.’” – Season 3, “House Training”
2# “How come God gets credit whenever something good happens? Where was he when her heart stopped?”  – Season 3, “Human Error”
3# “Dying people lie too. Wish they’d worked less, been nicer, opened orphanages for kittens. If you really want to do something, you do it. You don’t save it for a sound bite.” – Season 2, “Hunting”
4# “Good news is, he’s running out of organs to fail.” – Season 4, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
“Successes only last until someone screws them up. Failures are forever.” – Season 6, “Darkness”
5# Daniel: hypocrisy? You act like you don't care about anyone, but here you are, saving lives.
         House: Solving Puzzles. Saving lives is just collateral damages.

PS: Medical breakthroughs mean money
Science on KLH  -  Blue blood vaccines

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