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

Arion Triumphant

This post is written in honor of the 500th birthday of the great anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, who combined art and medicine in his landmark masterpiece, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. I am a lifelong fan of Vesalius and currently collaborating with the physician-scholar Michael Nevins on a study of the title page of the Fabrica. On a recent trip to the New York Academy of Medicine’s …Read More

Philippe Pinel and the Lunar Society in New Jersey

Last week I had the opportunity to give a lecture at the Lunar Society – an offshoot of the Medical History Society of New Jersey – on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Lunar Society is named after a British social club in the 18th century which was composed of a group of intellectuals who enjoyed exchanging ideas. According to scholar Michael …Read More

Dakin’s Solution: Past, Present, and Future.

This article on the history of Dakin’s Solution was published in the journal, Advances in Skin & Wound Care.  Dakin’s solution has been used for almost a century for treatment of infected wounds. Developed by a biochemist named Henry Dakin in the early 20th Century, it is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, which is commonly known as household bleach. When properly applied, it can …Read More

Photographing Letchworth Village

We often think that medical progress marches in a straight line, but that is not the case.  Some ideas change the field rapidly, while others sit by the sidelines for decades before being accepted.  Others are accepted by the medical profession like a fad only to fall into disrepute.  Such is the case of Letchworth Village.  Once a model institution for the mentally disabled, Letchworth …Read More

Wounds of a Boxer: Medical Secrets from Ancient Rome

Over the past month an ancient sculptural masterpiece has been on temporary display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman halls. On loan from Rome’s Museo Nazionale Romano, “Boxer at Rest” depicts a battered pugilist immediately after a fight. His face bears evidence of broken nasal bones, swelling and hematoma under his right eye, and multiple lacerations and abrasions to his nose, cheeks, and …Read More

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

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 the yellowed pages was an illustration of a necrotic sacral pressure ulcer, and my heart started pounding. I had come across one of the earliest descriptions of pressure ulcer pathogenesis. I excitedly purchased the …Read More

Painting, Poetry, and Medicine: Charles Demuth and William Carlos Williams

The special exhibit entitled Stieglitz and His Artists which recently closed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had on view an American masterwork which was the fruit of collaboration between a physician-poet and a painter.  The name of the painting is “I saw the Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth, and his collaborator was William Carlos Williams. Charles Demuth was born in Lancaster, PA …Read More

Wound Healing Products: From Ancient to Modern Mythology

Greek mythology tells us that filings from the rusty spear of Achilles were used successfully on a non-healing wound.  To this legacy of using metal derivatives to heal wounds, a newer, more modern mythology has been added.  This is the use of silver in wound-care dressings.           Telephus was a hero of Ancient Greece who fought in the Trojan War.  When fleeing a battle his leg was …Read More

Falls, Aging, and the Bible

Falls are a major problem in geriatric patients.  As persons age, falls and their consequences become increasingly more serious.  According to the American Geriatrics Society, for those over age 65 and over, 35 to 40% of community dwelling persons fall annually.  As people get sicker and more debilitated, fall incidence increases as well as their severity.  Persons in nursing homes have a rate of falling …Read More