The Medical Science of House, M.D. (book #3)

“The facts behind the addictive medical drama”, by Andrew Holtz. A strange and gripping read, not really about House at all, but about diagnosis and the American medical system.

Interesting facts:

a comment on stethoscopes in The Times, 1834: “That it will ever come into general use, not withstanding its value, is extremely doubtful; because its beneficial application requires much time and gives a good bit of trouble both to the patient and the practitioner; because its hue and character are foreign and opposed to all our habits and associations”

“In 1900, one out every three deaths [presumably in the USA – there are no footnotes or references] was that of a child younger than five years old. … In 1997, children under five accounted for just one out of every seventy deaths.”

A BMA report classified ties as “functionless clothing”: “Ties perform no beneficial function in patient care and have been shown to be colonised by pathogens.”

Concerns that hospital inspectors might have about Dr House’s behaviour:
“- using treatments and running tests without the permission of patients
– lying to patients and coworkers
– verbally abusing and sometimes even striking patients and coworkers who don’t agree with his recommendations
– possible impairment due to inappropriate use of Vicodin and other pain medications
– disregarding patient privacy by discussing the details of cases in the clinic and other open areas
– violating a patient’s “do not resuscitate” instructions
– violating hospital rules governing the care of patients with immune system disorders, potention organ donors, and others
– searching the homes of patients without permission.”


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