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Letters

Cattle Call

I found most interesting the claim in the Winter 2016 issue of Hopkins Medicine (p. 43) that “in 1957 … James Jude became … credited with … the birth of CPR.”

At some point in time prior to June 1955, my brother Jon Stanley (now Dr. Stanley) and I (now also Dr. Stanley) had CPR training in health class in Bruno (Arkansas) High School (a school that no longer exists). The date is certain in my mind because in June 1955, Jon departed to finish high school at a private school and did not return to Bruno for any purpose until many years later. 

The CPR is clear in my mind because within one week, we roped one of our semiwild beef cows to vaccinate her, and she fought the rope so vigorously that she choked herself to “death.” As our father sadly removed the rope from the completely inert cow, Jon suggested that we give her CPR. Our father scoffed, but we were always rebellious and inventive, so we immediately started jumping up and down in unison on her ample rib cage in the vicinity of her heart and lungs. Within three or four jumps, she started breathing on her own, and after a half-dozen gasps, she jumped up and ran off, delighted to be free of the rope.

I hope Dr. Jon G. Stanley will now get the credit he deserves as being a pioneer in CPR for cattle!

Dr. Ronald A. Stanley

The Humanity of It All

I read with pleasure Dean/CEO Paul Rothman’s Post-Op column in the Fall 2015 issue (“Practicing Humanistic Medicine”).

It’s really tough being 71, a retired M.D. and sitting cheek to jowl with a physician much younger than me. I know and respect that he’s up on the latest meta-analyses—but he surprised me [when he suggested]: “Why not try some relaxation and meditation?” Right on: He knows his permanently off-call, type-A patient.

Sure, his cellphone went off during one of my appointments. It was his car mechanic. At first, I was put off until I realized that his life at this stage is far more complicated and stressed than mine. Acceptance of his humanity also made me realize he listened when it counted. 

Peter J. Dorsen, M.D. (Ret.)

Fellow, Internal Medicine, BCH 1972–74, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

At a Loss

I rarely find myself in a situation where I feel compelled to publicly comment on a letter to the editor, but this instance demands a response. In response to “Unlikely Lobbyists” from the Spring 2015 issue, Kyle Gahagan felt compelled to correct the author’s misconception that deafness or hearing loss is a malady or disease [Letters, Fall 2015]. He would like medical professionals to acknowledge the “fact” that the deaf community is simply a linguistic subset of the population, and [he] wishes us not to endeavor to “fix and treat” this condition.

After about 35 years of dealing with thousands of patients with hearing impairment, I can attest to the fact that hearing loss and deafness are indeed disorders and associated with disease processes, and that the vast majority of these individuals spend their lives seeking treatment or resolution of their sensory deficit.

In the course of my experience, I have encountered many hearing-impaired individuals who are quite comfortable with their situation and are adept at alternate means of communication. Many have failed medical and surgical management for deafness, or are not candidates for digital amplification. Every week, though, I see 10 to 15 new patients with deafness or hearing loss who desperately seek to be helped through treatment. 

I applaud Mr. Gahagan’s pride in the deaf community; however, an overwhelming majority of hearing-impaired patients look to otologists, otolaryngologists and audiologists for improved and functional hearing. 

Erik W. Kreutzer, M.D. ’78

Fellow, American College of Surgeons, 1983

Looking for Answers

The cover story of our winter issue, “An Answer to ALS?,” drew a passionate response from readers of our digital edition (hopkinsmedicinemagazine.org). Many wrote to share their families’ personal experiences and to express hope for a cure. A sampling of the posts we received:
 

“I lost my brother-in-law at age 62 and my sister at age 77 to this disease. Please find a cure to spare other families.”

“My father died of this terrible disease at the age of 50. Hope and pray a cure is found soon! Constantly worry about my children/grandchildren inheriting this disease. Hard to watch a loved one’s muscles deteriorate.”

“My father lived on a vent for 11 years with ALS. He was diagnosed when he was 49 years old and passed at 60 years of age. If a cure is found, I will do the happy dance. Being an ER nurse, I have seen a lot, but nothing is as bad and horrible as ALS.”

“My 39-year-old son has this horrific disease. I hope and pray that a medication can be found very soon. He has two young children who need their daddy.”