Going out on a limb


Doctors in China saved a man’s hand severed in an industrial accident — by grafting it onto his ankle for a month.

It's not the first time that Chinese surgeons have attempted the procedure. Another factory worker's hand was saved in 2013 at a hospital in Changde, also in Hunan province.

It’s not the first time that Chinese surgeons have attempted the procedure. Another factory worker’s hand was saved in 2013   at a hospital in Changde, also in Hunan province.

A factory worker known as Zhou lost his left hand to a spinning blade machine, reports The Independent.

Surgeons at Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in central China, couldn’t reattach it immediately because severed nerves and tendons needed to heal.

The hand was sewn onto Zhou’s leg to keep it “alive” until the arm was ready.

Dr. Tang Juyu, head of microsurgery at the hospital, tells The Telegraph: “Under normal temperatures, a severed finger needs to resume blood supply within 10 hours, but the time is even shorter for a separated limb.”

As for Zhou? The feeling in his fingers has returned, but months of rehabilitation remain.


Chart: How much men, women drink by age


Alcohol consumption by ageResearchers in Britain have “found that, for men, mean consumption (of booze) rose sharply during adolescence, peaked at around 25 years at (about 13 drinks) per week, and then declined and plateaued during mid-life, before declining from around 60 years. A similar trajectory was seen for women, but with lower overall consumption (a high of a little less than 4 drinks per week), according to a study in BMC Medicine.

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog has very kindly illustrated the numbers so we can see just how Britons seem to ride the bar rollercoaster.

h/t Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post


Chocolate good for you? It used to be medicine

In 1662, a book was published in London on chocolate. Photo courtesy of Wellcome Library.

In 1662, a medical book was published in London on chocolate. Photo courtesy of Wellcome Library.

We’ve heard the probable benefits of dark chocolate — the kind with 60 percent or more cocoa solids — extolled in recent years.

Dark chocolate may improve your heart, mood and lessen your stress.

You may have noticed that Mars is trying to cash in on the “healthy snacking” trend by pouring Dove chocolate over blueberries and cranberries. University of Michigan researchers even added dark chocolate to their healing foods pyramid.

But Christine A. Jones, an associated professor of French and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Utah, tells us that this is nothing new. Continue reading


Cute kitten, odd duck latest Obamacare ploy


The White House is touting the “16 sweetest reasons to get covered” in its latest online blitz to get the young, healthy and uninsured signed up for Obamacare by the end of the month.

Each reason is illustrated by a gif. Ducks appear to dance in one gif with the title: Birth control is free.  Continue reading


Sick presidents: Constitutional crises narrowly averted, website says


Washington had recurrent bouts of malaria. A migrating bullet caused Andrew Jackson so much discomfort, it was finally removed without anesthesia. Teddy Roosevelt had such bad myopia, he didn’t recognize his own kids without his glasses. Reagan had chronic hay fever.

No matter how common or rare the presidential malady, you’ll find it compiled on Dr. Zebra’s website. Doctor who? A self-proclaimed doctor (real name unknown) who has chronicled “the heavy burden of disease that has afflicted our presidents” because “the problem of presidential illness needs wider discussion.” Continue reading