Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Monday, September 19, 2005
 
Septicemia

Otherwise known as blood poisoning*.This cheery topic courtesy of Brad DeLong's quoting Gene Healy quoting Calvin Coolidge on the death of Coolidge's son while Coolidge was the President:
We do not know what might have happened to him under other circumstances, but if I had not been President, he would not have raised a blister on his toe, which resulted in blood poisoning, playing lawn tennis in the South Grounds.
DeLong then asks,
"How much richer are all of us today than Calvin Coolidge, for we don't have to worry about our sixteen-year-olds dying of blood poisoning from an infected blister that developed while playing tennis?"
This leads to some interesting comments. Atanu Dey affirms DeLong's celebration of modernity, citing the view above the clouds so many of us can afford with an airline ticket. theorajones confirms the issue,
This had a big impact on people of that era. When my mother was growing up, every single time she or her sister had a cut, my grandmother would say to them that they MUST run and put mecurechrome on it because, "Calvin Coolige's son died from a blister on his heel. He got it while playing tennis."
marquer is pessimistic, "Given the rate at which antibiotic resistance is spreading, we will very shortly be worrying about that anew." But the really interesting comment, to me, was from 'As you know' Bob (Robert Oldendorf?) who pointed out that at 33,865 in 2002, septicemia is still the #10 cause of death in this country. Bob indicated that this is at least partially the fault of unequal healthcare access, which makes sense since bacterial infections are fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, so the main concern would be not getting the antibiotics in time, or at all. The google search on this is surprisingly unilluminating, however, even when you restrict yourself to the CDC. The numbers are always cluttered by an additional racial or occupational analysis. Makes you wonder why a simple study of causes-of-death versus household-income hasn't been done. Somehow, however, it's difficult to imagine a first-child dying from septicemia today.

Anyway, antibiotics are great, but still, if you get cut, clean it up!

*It's really an infection of the blood--hence the shared root septic--where the germs are doing the poisoning. The colloquial phrase "blood poisoning" always makes me think, mistakenly, of Hamlet's last duel.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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