Livin’ on the MDedge: Prescription puppy, China’s commode hospital, Hall of Fame diuretics

Prescription puppies

I’d like a script for a golden retriever who loves fetch and has a super sniffer, please. Turns out, man’s best friend can be especially friendly for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Dogs have been trained to detect seizures, lead the blind, and even call 9-1-1, and now they are increasingly being used as glycemia monitors for people with diabetes. Obviously, people don’t get a prescription for their helpful furry friends, but one can dream about an all-puppy pharmacy, right?

A recently published study took a look at how glycemia-alert dogs improve the quality of life of people living with type 1 diabetes, and assessed the reliability of the dogs to respond to hypo- and hyperglycemic episodes.

Researchers concluded that, overall, a trained pup’s response to these episodes is more sensitive than previously thought. In addition, researchers also found that 100% of the study participants were extremely good dogs.

Really selective hearing loss

A woman in China is experiencing something straight out of a movie – she woke up one morning and couldn’t hear men’s voices anymore. Some might say this is a tragic loss. Others might contend that she is living the dream.

The woman was diagnosed with reverse-slope hearing loss, a very rare type of hearing loss that makes the patient unable able to hear low-frequency sounds, such as a man’s voice. Only 1 in every 12,000 people with hearing loss has this kind, and it is most often caused by genetics.

In this case, the woman’s stress and extreme fatigue appear to be contributing factors to her newfound superpower. Her doctor expects her to make a full recovery, but I’d milk it for as long as possible: “What’s that? Something about the dishes, honey? Sorry I can’t hear what you’re saying!”

The epitome of crappy design

Here at MDedge News, we approve of all scatologically related humor, and the Guangxi International Zhuangyi Hospital in Nanning, China, certainly fits the bill. In an ode to the digestive system, the Chinese have built a hospital that bears an undeniable resemblance to a toilet.

The building is huge, spread out over 42 acres. The patients are contained in the multistory tank, while the medical departments line the outside of the massive bowl.

According to a local citizen, the hospital was designed this way so patients could go from the main section to the departments without carrying an umbrella. We hope it’s because they have an excellent gastroenterology department they want to show off.

Leaking the news: Hall of Fame edition

Can you name the ultimate prize for a life-saving achievement in medicine? You’re right, it is induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame!

And that’s just what’s about to happen to the inventors of thiazide diuretics. The NIHF just announced its class of 2019, and it includes pharmacologists John Baer and Karl H. Beyer Jr. and organic chemists Frederick Novello and James Sprague, who developed Diuril (chlorothiazide) while at Merck Sharp & Dohme in the 1950s. (Is it just us, or do you get the feeling that Don Draper and the rest of the Sterling Cooper crew must have handled the Diuril account?)

The honor is, unfortunately, posthumous for all four men, but they were around for the Lasker Foundation Special Public Health Award they received in 1975.

We here at LOTME can’t top either of these commendations, but there’s at least one hypertensive on the staff who will be thinking of these men and their achievement when he experiences his next forced diuresis.