Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Search for PET

Even chief residents don't always know everything. Luckily, they have us--their trusty med students-turned-personal librarians, who dutifully look up stuff and report back the next day. Admittedly, this is actually a superb teaching tool for us as well as a time saving mechanism for them.

So, tonight my homework was to look up PET scans and figure out how they work. First I looked on UptoDate, one of the most popular online clinical references used by med students and physicians. I typed in "PET". I received the following results:
- PET scan
- Pet therapy
- Petah Tikva, Hemoglobin
- Petasites hybridus root
- Petechiae
- Peter anomaly
- Pietit mal seizures
- Petrolatum
- Petrosal venous sinus catheterization
- Petroselinum crispum (parsley)

Yes, parsley is apparently classified as a drug now, for its antibacterial and antifungal properties in treating halitosis (bad breath). And Petasites hybridus, aka the perennial shrub butterbur, has been found to be quite effective in preventing migraines. It's crazy to me that this widely used clinical reference has so seamlessly and inconspicuously inserted herbs and other "alternative" therapies into its database, while most of my professors over the last two years acted like I was on crack for asking about the benefits of things like yoga or omega-3 fatty acids in class. But as our dean of students said on the first day of medical school, "50% of what we learn in medical school will be proven wrong within the next 10-15 years--the problem is, we don't know which 50%, so you're going to have to learn all of it."

Also, fyi, Petach Tikva hemoglobin is a rare form of unstable hemoglobin found in two unrelated Iraqi Jewish children. Who knew?

Then, I went to PubMed, a search engine for medical research. Again, I type in PET. This time, the first entry I got was:

Pentaethylene-Terephthalate (PET) Bottles: A New Device for Autoerotic Strangulation of the Penis Causing Serious Injury
Thomas A. Voegeli1  and Peter J. Effert1 
Department of Urology, University of Duesseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany

Abstract  Strangulation of the penis by application of constricting devices may present a challenge for the treating physician. Depending on the type of constricting material, special equipment is essential for successful removal of the foreign bodies. We report a new form of constricting device, the neck of a Coca Cola bottle made of Pentaethylene-terephthalate (PET). Particular difficulties were encountered upon removal. Technical details of this case are described. Prior literature on the treatment of penile strangulation is discussed. Key Words  penis - strangulation - constriction - autoeroticism

Note to any of you male readers out there--stay away from Coke bottles...


At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently males are not the only ones who should stay away from Coke bottles. Fatty Arbuckle (of silent film fame..for you "young" people) barely escaped a murder conviction for the death of a young lady who died while he was "?" trying to "impregnate" her with a coke bottle.


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