In 1929, W. Forssmann performed the first human heart cath on himself. He tricked the OR nurse, put himself under local anesthesia, inserted a catheter into his arm, then walked to the X-ray room to see if it reached his heart. He was fired from the hospital, but awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956.
The patient in the National Geographic best picture of 1987 depicting the famous 23hrs heart transplantation which shows the Doctor monitoring his vitals while the assistant rests in the corner not only survived but outlived the doctor.
Willem Kolff created the first dialysis machine in the Netherlands during WWII. Lacking materials, he used sausage casings, tin cans, a washing machine, and salt water. He also saved more than 800 people from the Nazis by hiding them in his hospital. And he later invented the artificial heart.
In 2013, Australian blogger Belle Gibson claimed to have beaten brain cancer using ‘natural remedies’ — selling a cookbook to cancer patients with all her ‘secrets’. It was later revealed she never even had cancer, and was fined $410,000 by the Australian government for her deceptive practices.
Dr Barry Marshall was convinced that H.pylori bacteria causes stomach ulcers, but no one believed him. Since it was illegal to test his theory on humans, he drank the bacteria himself, developed ulcers within days, treated them with antibiotics and went to win a Nobel prize.
Nicholas Culpeper, a 17th century physician, married to wealthy heiress, enabling him to provide services free of charge while translating Latin medical text into English then sold them very cheaply for the poor who can’t afford expensive physicians.
During WWI, cotton was in high demand for the manufacture of uniforms and explosives. For bandages, doctors turned to using sphagnum moss. It can hold up to 22 times its own weight in liquid — twice as absorptive as cotton. The moss is also antiseptic, making the surrounding environment acidic.
Although it is commonly shown in medical dramas, you do not shock someone with a flatline. You only use defibrillators on people with ventricular fibrillation, and pulseless ventricular tachycardia (heart beats out of rhythm or heart beats that are really fast and out of sync).
In the 1900s doctors warned women that riding a bicycle may cause them to acquire “bicycle face”.