Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I’m giving these things away like candy. This time I’m giving away a Nobel prize in medicine. The first one will be for whoever adopts the ideas I put forward when I solved THE CASE OF THE MISSING WATER ON MARS (see below). This one will be for whoever proves the value of environment in medicine.

Here’s a little background:

I was stationed at Eglin AFB on Florida’s panhandle one summer “a while” ago. I won’t say how long. They put me in the base hospital for a trivial thing. It had to be 100 degrees outside. The temperature inside the hospital was kept around 70. It was like going into a meat locker. The cold was a shock when you entered. All the patients in the ward I was in caught cold.

Flash forward eight or nine years.

I was camped in northwest Iran in July. We had all just arrived. There was “a thing going around,” not connected with the dysentery that we all got. The “thing” was a 72 hour sickness that absolutely floored some of us. It brought fever and chills and a loss of appetite and strength.
The temperatures was in the 90’s outside and over a hundred inside my tent. To this day I remember how comforting that heat in my tent was to me. The chills were much worse than the fever and I could feel the heat giving me strength.

Sometime later I was seated next to a doctor an a trans-Pacific flight. I asked him about the temperatures being kept so low in hospitals. He said he noticed, when he made his rounds, that a lot of patients were bundled up. He seemed to be connecting the two for the first time. Then he said that he and other doctors with outside practices merely throw a smock over their business suits before making their rounds. A higher temperature would make it very uncomfortable for them.

Perhaps that helps explain why, when you go in with a broken leg, you die of pneumonia; you go in with colon cancer, you die of pneumonia; you go in with malnutrition, you die of pneumonia.

Back to my premise:

Just being instrumental in raising hospital temperatures won’t get someone a Nobel prize, no matter how much deserved. What is needed is some in-depth research into the effect of temperatures and humidity in treating various illnesses. That is where the Nobel prize awaits. When a doctor can prescribe temperature and humidity in the same way he prescribes medicine, then someone has made a great contribution. A Nobel worthy contribution.


Post a Comment

<< Home