Dr. Kelsey, despite immense pressure from pharmaceutical companies, decided not to approve thalidomide for morning sickness in the U.S., saving a whole generation of children from death and deformities.
When a man came to a clinic with a chronic infection in his left ear, doctors tried everything to help him from antibiotics to ear drops, but nothing worked. Out of desperation, he decided to take earwax from his good ear and place it in his bad one. After two days his infection was cured.
In Russia many doctors “treat” alcoholism by surgically implanting a small capsule into their patients. The capsules react so severely with alcohol that once the patient touches a single drop, they instantly acquire an excruciating illness of similar intensity to acute heroin withdrawal.
After waiting more than 24 hours for treatment in an NYC psychiatric hospital, a woman collapsed, convulsed, and died in the waiting room and remained there for an hour before anyone checked on her.
Doctors before the eleventh century would drink the urine of their patients to determine whether or not they had diabetes. A sugary taste indicated the person was diabetic.
Indian scientists can determine your blood cholesterol level from a photograph of your hand.
The first human cardiac catheterization was done by Werner Forssmann who, after failing to get permission from his department chief, anesthetized his arm, inserted a catheter into his vein and threaded it into his heart. He then walked down to the X-ray department and took a picture to prove it. “He ignored his department chief and persuaded a nurse in charge of the sterile supplies to assist him. She agreed, but only on the promise that he would do it on her rather than on himself. However, Forssmann tricked her by restraining her to the operating table and pretending to locally anaesthetise and cut her arm whilst actually doing it on himself.“
Before antibiotics, patients with syphilis were sometimes purposefully infected with malaria. This was because the bacteria that causes syphilis doesn’t fare well at higher temperatures (a blistering fever is a side effect of malaria).