OrangeSAM wrote:Mrs OS's eyes lit up when she saw that dialysis machine. In the sixties she was involved a case where the patient had overdosed on a sleeping pill which was fat soluble, not within the capabilities of the standard dialysis machines of the time. From the basement they dragged up that machine. They then scrounged up the olive oil supply from local groceries and used it to fill the basin of that old machine and filter out the drug. She adds that the patient did survive.
That is cool and scary at the same time. I wonder why the standard dialysis machine couldn't handle something that this dinosaur could. I wonder how they remembered the existence of the old machine and why they thought it might work. And I wonder why it needed olive oil. I'd love to read a good magazine article about this one. Even your executive summary is just fascinating, so thanks for posting it, and thank Mrs OS on my behalf. (After you butter her up with that, see if she knows the answers to my questions.
Since you asked, I'll flesh this out a bit.
My wife was enrolled at the Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing in 1967. (Yes, she saw Detroit burning from the roof of the Hospital.) Since the dorms were on or near the hospital grounds, it was easy to pull in a student nurse when you needed an extra set of hands, which is how she got called in several hours into the procedure.
My wife remembers the patient was a Vietnam veteran and an older man, perhaps an officer and/or a pilot. In the evening, he had overdosed on a sleep drug which was more soluble in fats than water. (She finally remembered which one: Doriden.) So a treatment plan was drawn up to use olive oil (liquid fat) to draw the drug out of the blood. The dialysis machines they were using were aqueous. Their main purpose was to clean waste from the bloodstream, not drugs. Someone mentioned the older machine. In '67, it wasn't that far out of date and, apparently, some folks remembered using it. It was brought in because it could handle olive oil. It didn't need the olive oil, but could handle it. I asked if viscosity was an issue, but she said no.
The next hurdle was getting enough olive oil. There weren't any 24-hour markets in downtown Detroit, so calls were made to grocery owners and managers at their homes and folks were dispatched to pick up gallon cans. The Detroit PD may have even gone on a run or two.
Once hooked up, the patient stabilized over a span of several hours. At this point Mrs OS was called in to relieve the dialysis nurse. Her job was to monitor vital signs. She was working with a resident who was monitoring the machine. She later saw the patient again on her regular stint in the ICU. He'd improved greatly and would later be released.
On the internet tonight, she found reference to an article from 1970 which stated that dialysis, with or without oil, had not been show to be effective. So maybe it worked or maybe it didn't.