Jeffrey M. Levine MD | Geriatric Specialist | Wound Care | Pressure Ulcers - News on Dr. Levine's medical and consulting practice, and reflections on our healthcare system.

Category: Medical History

Recognizing the Incurable in Ancient Egypt

The art of medicine is as old as human civilization, and what we think is new has often been done before. When researching the history of wound care I came across an interesting historical antecedent to today’s palliative care practices. I found it in the library of the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan, in a translation of an ancient Egyptian medical scroll, the …Read More

Body Casts in WWII: A Historical Perspective on Medical Device Related Pressure Ulcers

Surgeons and medics apply a plaster-of-paris body cast on an injured soldier.  Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library.  During WWII, the incidence of pressure ulcers in young injured soldiers increased as a result of plaster body casts and immobilization splints – an early example of medical device related pressure ulceration.  Plaster-of-paris has been used for centuries to treat fractures by immobilizing bones and allowing undisturbed …Read More

Historical Roots of the “Avoidable-Unavoidable” Pressure Ulcer Controversy

This post gives another preview of what I will be covering in my upcoming webinar entitled History of Pressure Ulcers & Wound Care: Past, Present, & Future, sponsored by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.  Some years ago while browsing in an antiquarian bookstore I opened a volume entitled Lectures on the Diseases of the Central Nervous System by Jean Martin Charcot published in 1877. Among …Read More

Wound Odor: The View from Ancient Greece

This post gives a preview of what I will be covering in my upcoming webinar entitled History of Pressure Ulcers & Wound Care: Past, Present, & Future, sponsored by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.  The fascinating history of wound care dates back to the earliest human cultures, where prehistoric bones and cave paintings left hints of wound-healing knowledge.  A major problem associated with wounds …Read More

Upcoming Webinar on History of Pressure Ulcers & Wound Care

I am thrilled to announce that registration is now open for my webinar entitled History of Pressure Ulcers and Wound Care: Past, Present and Future, sponsored by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). This event takes place on November 19th at 1:00 PM EST, and coincides with World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day 2015. My discussion covers such topics as wound care in Ancient …Read More

Jean Martin Charcot’s Lecture on Pressure Ulcers: An Important Historical Document

    Click here for a downloadable PDF of Charcot’s Lecture on Pressure Ulcers.  . Some years back while browsing in an antiquarian book sale I came across a translated collection of lectures by the great 19th century neurophysiologist, Jean Martin Charcot (1825-1893). Inside this book I was surprised to find diagrams of pressure ulcers that looked similar to those found in my own patients. I …Read More

Speaking of Vesalius’s Historiated Initials at the New York Academy of Medicine

    Click here for a downloadable PDF containing all historiated initials from the Fabrica.  The medical profession has a long and fascinating history, and if you are interested in learning more don’t miss this upcoming event at the New York Academy of Medicine. The program will take place on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM and is entitled: Fifth Annual History …Read More

Getting Vesalius’s Goat

The anatomical masterpiece by Andreas Vesalius entitled De Humani Corporis Fabrica had two editions, the first in 1543 and the second in 1555. There were many changes in the text and woodcut illustrations, but one of the most mysterious alterations was the redrawing of the title page. Both pages feature a public dissection with Vesalius dissecting a female corpse in a makeshift amphitheater, but the …Read More

The Enigma of the Historiated “V” in Vesalius’s Fabrica

This post continues to mark the 500th birthday of the great anatomist Andreas Vesalius, whose masterpiece tome, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, skillfully combined art and medicine. Today I will discuss the enigma of the historiated V that was introduced in the 1555 second edition of the Fabrica.  It appears twice: once in the Dedication to Charles V and later at the beginning of Book 5 …Read More

Jewish History in Vesalius’s Fabrica

This is another post to mark the 500th birthday of Andreas Vesalius, author of the great anatomy text entitled De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) – the lavishly illustrated masterpiece that combined art and medicine. The Fabrica will be 472 years old this year, and in this post I will reveal a previously untold secret from inside the book – a …Read More