Yet more wisdom from Hard Facts: Bloodletting was used routinely until 1836 when French physician Pierre Louis conducted one of the first clinical trials in medicine. Louis compared pneumonia patients whom he treated with aggressive bloodletting and those he treated without it. Louis found that bloodletting was linked to far more deaths. … George Washington, the first president of the United States, … died two days after a doctor treated his sore throat by draining almost five pints of blood. … A remarkably high percentage of medical decisions still reflect the often-obsolete practices that a doctor learned in medical school, the ingrained traditions of a hospital or region. (p.13) …
actually, blood letting is an accepted therapy for some medical issues ie, hemachromatosis a striking common inherited disorder whereby the body holds on to more iron that it should leading to liver failure among other things.
More to the point, it makes sense that getting rid of plasma volume is a way to combat congestive heart failure or even myocardial infarction. Doctors do it nowadays via pharmacologic methods such as diuretics ("water pill" lasix) or venodilators (nitroglycerin). It is obviously was used inappropriately, but bloodletting didn't become in-fashion for nothing.
I understand that the point of this review is to highlight medical errors, but this particular example seems a bit out of place.
Expecting true contrarianity, I hoped for a defense of bloodletting.
Here is an account of the bloodletting that almost certainly contributed to Washington's death:
So I've always wondered if bloodletting could be an effective treatment for high blood pressure...
(I bet you're all glad I'm not a doctor!)
That book looks good. I have ordered it from amazon.
Sounds like leadership is lacking, The people in charge have loyalty to their bosses instead of to themselves. Where is this robust intuition that is needed to lead?
Change the context to adjust the symmetry or live with the problem.
Sidelight on bloodletting: There's a bit in Jane Jacobs about bloodletting being more aggressive in the colonies than it was in Europe-- in Europe there were more "common sense" limits on how much blood could be taken.