Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The bullet struck Taylor's femoral artery...

From google news: Washington Redskins star defender Sean Taylor died early Tuesday morning after being shot Monday by intruders at his home in Miami. The 24-year-old safety died in a Florida hospital where he underwent nearly seven hours of emergency surgery Monday to repair a severed femoral artery, the team confirmed in a website statement. "This is the worst imaginable tragedy," Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Sean's family." Police said Taylor was struck in the leg by a bullet that hit the femoral artery, causing severe blood loss. Watch a report on this story at CBS 13.

We haven't learned the arteries and veins yet.... but you know the femur and you know the femoral nerve serves the anterior thigh so you can guess the location of the femoral artery... yup, anterior thigh. Specifically, it branches from the iliac artery which comes off the abdominal aorta. The femoral artery is one of our largest conduit arteries with very high pressure and it supplies the lower extremity... so it carries lots of blood. Injury to the femoral artery is life threatening as evidenced by the shooting death of Taylor. You might not think that injury to the thigh would be deadly but there is the danger of severing this artery resulting in rapid and severe blood loss... enough to decrease systemic blood pressure which reduces blood supply to vital organs like the heart and brain. In fact, injuries to the thigh are a major concern for combat troops and so companies have designed and tested Kevlar shorts to protect the thigh and femoral artery as well as other important tissues of the groin! Check out this article on kevlar shorts... aptly titled "Saving ryan's privates."

PS - I am not a trauma or first aid expert but if you or your pal's femoral artery is shot, stabbed or bitten (yes, sharks!)... apply direct pressure with a dressing using your hand or even fingers to stop the bleeding... worst case scenario you might need a tourniquet. BUT injuries in the groin or axillary regions might be too proximal to allow proper placement of an emergency tourniquet. In such cases the military is using special clotting bandages that can act to stop severe arterial bleeding (hemorrhaging) very quickly without use of a tourniquet. Check out the HemCon website and QuikClot website as well as this CNN video.

Pharmaceutical drugs often have nasty side effects but...

Pharmaceutical drugs often have bad side effects that people would like to avoid or that are so bad patients will stop use of the drug. However, every so often drugs will have side effects that some would consider desirable. Consider Vigra (erectile function) and Rogaine (hair growth) that were initially investigated as a high blood pressure treatment. The latest example of this is a glaucoma drug named Lumigan. It helps reduce intraocular pressure which is needed for glaucoma treatment. If you read the package insert for Lumigan it contains a list of "adverse reactions." These include eyelash growth and eyelash darkening. See below:

Given this, cosmetic doctors started trying this on healthy people to grow thicker, longer lashes. The good news is it works. The bad news it also causes dryness, redness, and other ocular reactions. Also, it can cause permanent darkening of the pigmentation of the iris... basically making your eye color darker.... something that is not always cosmetically desirable.

Watch the ABC news story on Lumigan