Many of the world’s most important and life-saving devices and techniques were often discovered purely by accident. Serendipity, timing, and luck played a part in the discovery of unintentional cures and breakthroughs:
A plastic shard in an RAF pilot’s eye leads to the use of plastic for the implantable lens.
The inability to remove a titanium chamber from rabbit’s bone leads to dental implants.
Viagra was discovered by a group of chemists, working in the lab to find a new drug to alleviate the pain of angina pectoris.
A stretch of five weeks of unusually warm weather in 1928 played a role in assisting Dr. Alexander Fleming in his analysis of bacterial growth and the discovery of penicillin.
After studying the effects of the venom injected by the bite of a deadly pit viper snake, chemists developed a groundbreaking drug that works to control blood pressure.
Accidental Medical Discoveries is an entertaining and enlightening look at the creation of 25 medical inventions that have changed the world unintentionally. The book is presented in a lively and engaging way, and will appeal to a wide variety of readers, from history buffs to trivia fanatics to those in the medical profession.
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About the Author
Robert W. Winters is an experienced medical scientist, doctor, teacher, and writer. He is a graduate of Indiana University and of the Yale School of Medicine. He was a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. The author resides in Helsingor, Denmark.
Table of Contents
Part I Surgery And Anesthesia 1
1 The Gleam of Cold Steel: Surgery without Anesthesia 3
2 Ether and Nitrous Oxide: Blessed Relief 7
3 Chloroform: The Clergy Objects 21
4 Cocaine Anesthesia: Freud's Favorite 31
Part II Implants 37
5 The Artificial Lens: A Legacy of Wartime 39
6 Good as New: Dental Implants 47
Part III Drugs That Affect The Blood 57
7 Vitamin K: Began with a Bleeding Chick 59
8 Dicumarol and Warfarin: Began with a Bleeding Cow 63
Part IV Drugs That Fight Infection 71
9 Smallpox: The Cure of a Lesser Evil 73
10 Penicillin: The Crucial Role of Weather 85
11 Streptomycin: A Major Dispute 95
12 Cephalosporins: Something in the Sewage 107
13 Peptic Ulcers: A Discovery in an Empty Lab 113
Part V Drugs That Affect The Heart 123
14 Nitroglycerin and Amyl Nitrite: Boom! 125
15 Digitalis: The Shropshire Woman and the Foxglove 131
16 The Tranquilizers: Two Chance Discoveries 139
17 LSD: A Mind-Blowing Accident 145
18 Lithium: The First Guinea Pigs ... Were Guinea Pigs! 151
19 Thorazine: A Cure from Curare 157
Part VI Thevitamins (Vit(Al) Amines) 165
20 The Naming of Vitamins: The Vital Missing Pieces 167
21 Vitamin B1: Brown Rice Cures Beriberi 171
22 Vitamin C: Another Battle for Priority 181
23 Vitamin D: Bowlegged Lion Cubs 191
Part VII Other Medical Discoveries 201
24 Insulin: The Role of Insomnia 203
25 Viagra: A Pleasant Surprise 215
26 X-rays: Bertha's Hand 225
Afterword: Acceptance of New Discoveries 235
About the Author 241
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a quick and interesting read on the serendipity of medical discovery. Loved it!