The U.S. television series “House” has brought a critically ill patient rescue. The 55-year-old German was suffering from a series of unexplained symptoms, as the specialist journal “The Lancet” reported in its edition on Friday. When the man was brought in May 2012 to the center for an unrecognized diseases in Marburg, he had a weak heart, his eyesight and hearing consistently declining, he suffered from swollen lymph nodes and unexplained bouts of fevers,as well as plagued by conditional gastric acid regurgitation.
The team of doctors led by Professor Jürgen Schäfer searchged for a cause on the patients history of anything indicating possible causes of the disease, but found nothing – except an operation in which the patient two new hip joints were used. The doctors remembered an episode of the TV series about the quirky and cynical Dr. House, which specializes in hopeless cases and medical mysteries and suspected a cobalt poisoning as the reason for severe disease. Blood tests confirmed the suspicion. The metal prosthesis has since been replaced with a ceramic hip.
Shortly after the artificial hip had been replaced by the ceramic model, the cobalt and chromium levels were decreased in the blood and the patient’s condition had “stabilized” said Schaefer. The man was slowly recovering. Fourteen months later, his heart had 40 percent of its power regained, hearing and vision, however, improved only very slowly.
As a “Dr. House” fan he was, fortunately, reminiscent of the problem of cobalt poisoning, Shepherd said. Good entertainment is not only suitable for the amusement and instruction, but could also “save lives.” The scientist sat in his own words episodes of the series already in lectures as illustrative material for a student, as they say in “Lancet”.