Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #histmed

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I wrote this piece for @STATNews to mark the tricentennial of the start of the Great Plague of Provence, the last of the great* outbreaks of plague in W. Europe. I discuss some of the many parallels between the 1720 plague & the #COVID19 pandemic. THREAD…
Today marks 300 years since the start of what I argue represents a major moment in the history of disaster mgmt. As the story goes, the Great Plague of Provence (aka Plague of Marseille) began in France #OnThisDay in 1720 with the arrival of the vessel, the Grand Saint-Antoine in
the port of Marseille. The ship had journeyed for a year in the Mediterranean collecting cargoes of fine imported goods destined for an annual trade fair. In that time, there had been a series of deaths on board, many with the telltale signs of bubonic plague,
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The history of public health is also the history of women in health care. Let’s take a moment to reflect on how the discipline of public health arose out of social justice reforms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The second half of the 19th century saw an increasing appreciation of the health consequences of poverty. Among other factors, the development of germ theory created an understanding of how the crowded, unsanitary conditions of slums propagated infectious disease. 2/
At the same time, women were fighting for a greater voice in all aspects of public life. A popular suffragist argument was that women had unique skills and traits that could balance the harms men caused to the world. 3/
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Hello #polyam history fam! We return from a bit of a hiatus because 1) it seems there's a worldwide pandemic on and 2) your authors were preparing and then editing (and editing and editing) a article on the work we are doing, which will form part of the introduction Image
and the theory that will eventually underlie our book. We will be sharing more about this in the future!

If you are reading this, we hope you and yours are safe&sound&healthy&staying inside! This is one of the harder challengs the #polyamory #polyam community
has faced--challenges about quarantining, not being able to see other partners, and, in some cases, being trapped with abusive partners, but from the bottom of both of our hearts we hope that all are safe and quarantining--we're all in this together now <3
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A thread for #InternationalWomensDay
My g-g grandmother (and a character in my novel “The Virgin Cure,”) Dr. Sarah Fonda-Mackintosh (1836-1903) was an early graduate of the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. 1/4 #WomenInMedicine
The Women’s Medical College of the NY Infirmary (shown here in a Frank Leslie’s illustration from 1870) was founded in NYC in 1868 by sister-Drs Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell. 2/4 #histmed #InternationalWomensDay #WomenInMedicine
When Sarah was admitted to the Medical Association of New Jersey in the early 1870s she was the first female physician to be admitted to any medical association in the United States. 3/4 #WomensHistoryMonth #WomenInMedicine #InternationalWomensDay
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Some thoughts about my week of lectures in the UK. I presented on Tuesday at Durham, on Wednesday at Newcastle, & on Thursday at Edinburgh. All three lectures had different themes, but all circled around the common fact that we are in a new era of medical history (#histmed). 1/n
In Durham, my topic was "Are Pandemics Comparable? The Present State of Research in Justinianic Plague and Black Death Studies." For my 2014 volume on the Black Death as a (semi-global) pandemic, I had used the definition of Morens et al. 2009. It still holds now, I think. 2/n
Which means, of course, that contrary to the BBC's headline, we are not in "uncharted territory" in an absolute sense. The work I've been doing the past 12 yrs to develop a new kind of epidemiological history has taken the insights of the field of Emerging Infectious Diseases 3/n
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In celebration of international #WomenInScience day, l’d like to introduce you to 3 nutritionists/ medical researchers that I worked on during my PhD. They were pretty tough and persevering... THREAD 1/8 #histmed #histSTEM
Many women nutritionists in the mid-20th century were field workers. Field work is complex and messy, and it can be harder to implement controls. It was often looked down upon by fundamental researchers/laboratory scientists. Thus, their work was often overlooked. 2/8
First let me introduce you to Dr Lucy Wills. She was key in the discovery of #folicacid and its importance to pregnant women and their babies. Relatively overlooked in histories of #nutrition, she was recently recognised via a #googledoodle… 3/8
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Okay, since @KevinMKruse now seems to have given his imprimatur to this piece in the @washingtonpost today about #nCoV2019 & past plagues, it seems time for a mini-thread about #medhist & hot takes. #epitwitter: you might want to listen in on this, as it effects you, too.
@KevinMKruse @washingtonpost The @washingtonpost piece by Eisenberg et al. makes 3 main points: 1) that the #BlackDeath (the #plague pandemic usually dated to the mid-14thC) is the most commonly invoked analogy when people think of epidemics; 2) that not all "plague" epidemics/pandemics were alike; and 3) ..
@KevinMKruse @washingtonpost ... that there's an "outbreak narrative" that "we replay .. as a script with each new outbreak — whether real or fictional." First, some background on what #histmed (History of Medicine) is: it's probably pretty much as you would assume from its name. The field of history that ..
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What does disability offer as a category of historical analysis? Why does #DisHist matter?
Here is an eg:
Born in Sardinia, Antonio Gramsci (1891–
1937) lived with physical disability, possibly due to Pott's disease (image not of him).../ The image shows a black and white photograph of the back of a young boy with deformities of the spine and neck.
His mother held to the idea that he was disabled after a fall down a flight of stairs which she blamed on a servant. The young Gramsci lived with chronic pain, and his condition may have impacted his growth as well.
#DisHist #DisabilityHistory #histmed The image shows a black and white photograph of a middle aged woman with dark hair wearing a dark dress, holding a toddler with dark curly hair and a white dress. The photo appears to be from the early 20th century.
Gramsci's own writings describe how he was called a gobbo (hunchback) by those around him & described how his condition made him feel like an "intruder" in his family.../
#DisHist #histchild #histmed
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From gathering moss to a multi-million dollar industry, we’re about to bring you the #WW1 story you never knew you always needed. It’s a tale of sacrifice, service … and sanitary napkins.

#philanthropy #AmericanGiving #GivingTuesday #BecauseOfHerStory #HistMed
Open wounds and blood loss can be some of the most dangerous issues on the battlefield.
First aid chests and U.S. Hospital Corps belts would be sure to contain sterile dressings to staunch bleeding. A kit with tools to stop bleeding.A kit with tools to stop bleeding.
During #WW1, sphagnum moss was used to create bandages and dressings like this one. While moss may seem like a weird fit, it was super absorbent, with antiseptic properties, and grew plentifully in America. A large absorbent pad.
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Over the past 10 years, I've worked hard to build a brand around medical history. Much of my content is made richer with images from some truly fantastic #histmed collections around the world. Here's 10 institutes/organizations you should be following on Twitter.👇
#10: Wellcome Collection (@ExploreWellcome) in London which explores "ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art." It features, amongst many objects, NAPOLEON'S TOOTHBRUSH with bristles made from horsehair.
@ExploreWellcome #9: National Museum of Health & Medicine (@medicalmuseum) in Maryland, which was established during the Civil War as a center for the collection of specimens & artifacts related to trauma & pathology. Here's the BULLET which killed ABRAHAM LINCOLN, which was recently on display.
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It's time for a #histmed #medthread about the discovery of microbes!

To say that mankind has a complicated relationship with the microscopic world would be an understatement, since a major selling point of many products is that they kill 99% of it.
For what it’s worth, there’s an awesome meme about the bacterial one percenters who somehow make it through the Lysol and Listerine apocalypse (this one is from
By the way, this #medthread is meant as a companion for Micrographia, the latest episode of @BedsideRounds (…), since you can’t really see pictures through the radio.
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1/ Why are EKG waves named starting with the letter P? What happened to letters A through O?

I’m guessing you’ve probably never wondered this, but if you’re curious, here’s a brief historical #medthread / #tweetorial on how the EKG waves got the names they did.
2/ The first electrical tracings of the heart were obtained in 1887 by A.D. Waller, a British physiologist and physician, who used a Lippmann capillary electrometer to capture the tracings.…
3/ As a physiologist, Waller labelled the two waves on his initial tracing V1 & V2 based on their site of anatomic origin- the ventricle. He would continue, often rather adamantly, to refer to the electrical waves as A, V1, & V2 throughout his career.…
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(1/14) THREAD ON BLOODLETTING 👇 for #WorldBloodDonorDay. When King Charles II suffered a sudden seizure on the morning of 2 February 1685, his personal physician had just the remedy. He quickly slashed open a vein in the King’s left arm and filled a basin with the royal blood.
(2/14) Over the next few days, the King's physicians gave enemas and urged him to drink various potions, including boiled spirits from a human skull. Charles was bled a second time before he lapsed into a coma and died.
(3/14) Even without his doctors’ ministrations, the King may have succumbed, yet his final days were certainly not made any easier by the relentless bloodletting and purging. By the time of Charles II’s death, however, bloodletting was standard medical practice.
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The end of another semester of engaging students with @WikiEducation at @MissouriSandT @sandtcasb in #HistSCI means another tweet thread about this super fun project.
49 students, 32 articles, 40K words added, +285K views so far. I love their work! Take a look!
I'm going to group them. First group-- #WomenInSTEM #WomeninHistory
Students found that, uh oh, it's HARD to find reliable sources on women in science! This didn't stop them, though. They pushed through and learned some new research skills.… is 1 product.
Tycho's sister,… was another article that needed work. The women who worked on this one had to find all sources on Tycho then sift through for the 2-3 pages about Sophia. Thank goodness for good #librarians at S&T who were patient and helpful!
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It’s time for another #histmed Tweetorial -- this time I'm going to talk about the pesky definition of a fever, and where the 98.6 F average body temp came from!

Full disclosure: will use C AND F for temp, but no K or R.
FYI this is a complementary Tweetorial to @tony_breu's amazing one on why we have night sweats
Let’s start with a case!

A 29 year-old woman presents with a week of cough, myalgias, and chills. Her temperature is 99.9 F (37.7C). She tells you, “This is a fever for me because I run low.”
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(1/18) A Brief History of Coronary Angioplasty and the Roots of the Interventional Cardiology Field -- a #Tweetorial

#Cardiotwitter #FOAMed #ACCFIT #histmed @ACCCardioEd

Courtesy of @PopmaJeffrey & @ACCinTouch
(2/18) Dr. Werner Forssman (🇩🇪) performs 1st human #RHC (1929) by inserting a 65cm urologic catheter into his own antecubital vein and walking up to the X-ray department for imaging. Reportedly, he did this repeatedly! He left urology for primary care & shared @NobelPrize (1956).
(3/18) Dr. Fariñas (🇨🇺) performs aortography via femoral🔪 cut down (1941). Dr. Euler (🇩🇪) performs thoracic angiography by direct aorta puncture via esophagus (1949). Drs. Cournand & Dickinson (🇺🇸) open 1st US #cath lab (1945), publish extensively, and shared @NobelPrize (1956).
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(1/7) THREAD 👇Photo of an unidentified victim of the TITANIC being embalmed on the deck of the Mackay Bennett, which was one of four ships chartered by the White Star Line to collect bodies shortly after the disaster. The ship and its crew were able to recover over 300 bodies.
(2/7) When it set sail, the Mackay Bennett carried with it 100 coffins, 100 tons of ice, and 12 tons of iron bars which were used to bury badly decomposed bodies at sea. Passenger bodies in “satisfactory condition” were embalmed.
(3/7) When possible to identify: those of first class passengers were placed in coffins, while those of second and third class passengers were wrapped in canvas. Crew members were simply placed into the ice-filled hold.
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I just hit 40K! Welcome followers, old & new. Over the next few days, I’ll be tweeting 40 FAVOURITE HISTORY OBJECTS, starting with #40: a medieval skull fused with chainmail. The soldier died at the Battle of Visby in 1361 in Gotland, Sweden. He was buried in his armour.
#39 in my 40 FAVOURITE HISTORY OBJECTS: the Beauchêne skull, or exploded skull. It’s a type of anatomical preparation invented by the French anatomist Claude Beauchêne in the 19th century. This stunning example was created by Ryan Matthew Cohn.
#38 of my 40 FAVOURITE HISTORY OBJECTS: the world's oldest complete example of a human with metastatic cancer. Researchers from Durham University & the British Museum discovered evidence of tumors in this 3,000-year-old skeleton found in the Sudan in 2013:…
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(1/12 )THREAD 👇👇 Gather around: today’s tale is about self-sacrifice, bubonic plague, and the resilience of the human spirit. Let me tell you about EYAM: THE PLAGUE VILLAGE.
(2/12) On 1 November 1666, a young farmer named Abraham Morten took one final, agonizing breath. He was the last of 260 people to die of bubonic plague in the remote village of Eyam in Derbyshire.
(3/12) His fate had been sealed in September, 1665. George Viccars—a local tailor in Eyam—received a consignment of cloth from London, not realizing that it was playing host to fleas that were carrying the bubonic plague. Viccars was dead within a week.
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(1/6) THREAD 👇Photo of an unidentified victim of the TITANIC being embalmed on the deck of the Mackay Bennett, which was one of four ships chartered by the White Star Line to collect bodies shortly after the disaster. The ship and its crew were able to recover over 300 bodies.
(2/6) When it set sail, the Mackay Bennett carried with it 100 coffins, 100 tons of ice, and 12 tons of iron bars which were used to bury badly decomposed bodies at sea. Passenger bodies in “satisfactory condition” were embalmed.
(3/6 ) When possible to identify: those of first class passengers were placed in coffins, while those of second and third class passengers were wrapped in canvas. Crew members were simply placed into the ice-filled hold.
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Time for a Tweetorial! Though this will only be partially #histmed and mostly about philosophy. Inspired by @chrischiu -- so let’s talk about Occam’s Razor and Hickam’s Dictum!
But before we get going, let’s start with a little pre-test. Case #1. A young man presents with acute onset of severe fevers and chills, rhinorrhea, headache, confusion, and neck stiffness. What does he have?
And case #2, a middle aged woman presents to clinic with a nocturnal cough which she has had for a number of years. What is the most likely diagnosis?
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Hey #medtwitter, it’s time for another #histmed #FOAMed Tweetorial! I’m giving a couple of lectures this fall, and in the spirit of #FOAM I’m going to (try my best) to do a Tweetorial for each, so anyone can benefit/watch me flounder/vehemently disagree with me.
So thank you to @BostonChiefs, and let's talk about semiotics and the development of the physical exam!
First, an opinion poll. Do you think that the physical exam as it is practiced today is useful for care of our patients? When I poll people, I’ve noticed dramatic response differential between training levels.
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We’re taking a closer look at conflict and compromise in American history.
@NationalHistory Day students explored that topic in exhibits, and are sharing their exhibits on the floor. A young woman shows of her National History Day exhibit about the Berlin Wall.
Take a closer look at objects from our collection that show conflict and compromise in American history with our curators. Mallory Warner shows off artifacts from the Medical Science collection with other staff in the background.
Some of our curators looked at aspects of famous conflicts, like the Civil War. Curator Joan Boudreau explored the history of printing during the American Civil War. Learn more here: An image from Smithsonian Libraries showing a Printing office during the Civil War
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