Channel 4 - Bodyshock

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Channel 4 - Bodyshock

Post by Pavy Crevis » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:10 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: Curse of the Mermaid
Monday 30th January 2006


Visit: http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... e_mermaid/ The full write up from the site is below.


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Milagros Cerrón is one of the world's most unusual babies. She was born with sirenomelia, or mermaid syndrome, a condition in which the legs are fused together. This rare birth disorder affects one in every 70,000-100,000 babies (it occurs with about the same frequency as conjoined twins).

What makes Milagros really special is the fact that she is still alive. Aptly, her name means 'miracles'. She is one of only two known survivors with this condition worldwide - the other is a 16-year-old US girl named Tiffany Yorks. Almost all sirenomelia babies die within days of delivery owing to serious defects in vital organs, particularly in the kidneys, bladder and associated ducts.

Milagros was born to poor parents from an Andean village near Huancayo in Peru. At less than one month old, she was plucked from the obscurity of her rural roots, taken to Peru's capital city, Lima, and paraded through a national media circus.

She became the pet project of the charismatic and politically ambitious plastic surgeon Dr Luis Rubio. He orchestrated both the medical care and the media attention that Milagros was subsequently subject to. An eight-hour-long operation to separate her legs was broadcast live on Peruvian national TV in May 2005. Dr Rubio was filmed, scalpel in his hand and microphone at his mouth, proudly spouting progress reports to attendant cameras whilst performing the surgery.

Milagros became known nationally as the Little Mermaid. She, a symbol of hope for a country in deep economic depression, and Dr Rubio, the hero who came to her rescue.

The surgery appears to have been successful so far. Milagros is now well enough to attempt to stand up, although she can't maintain stability because she has no hipbone sockets. She will require more surgical interventions over the coming 10 to 15 years in order to reconstruct her urethra and genitals, which are abnormal. It isn't yet clear whether or not further surgery on her legs could help her walk




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Post by Pavy Crevis » Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:40 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: Half Ton Man
Monday 6th February 2006


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Patrick Deuel is one of the heaviest men ever and his heart and other organs should have collapsed long
before he reached his record-breaking weight of 76 stone 8lbs. The documentary follows his struggle and that of one of his supporters, Rosalie Bradford, who
was once the world's fattest woman, before losing an incredible 900lbs.



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Post by Pavy Crevis » Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:35 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: The 80 Year Old Children
Monday 13th February 2006


http://www.channel4.com/health/microsit ... index.html


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In March 2003 doctors at Calcutta's Institute of Child Health made an astonishing and ground-breaking medical discovery. Quite by accident they had unearthed the only family in the world known to be struck by more than one case of progeria, a rare and incurable genetic disease. There are currently only 48 known cases worldwide, all of them isolated and seemingly random. But the doctors in Calcutta were faced with a mother who had given birth to five affected children.

Progeria is caused by a single tiny defect in a child's genetic code, but it has devastating and life-changing consequences. On average, a child born with this disease will be dead by the age of 13. As they see their bodies fast forward through the normal process of ageing they develop striking physical symptoms, often including premature baldness, heart disease, thinning bones and arthritis.

The 80-Year-Old Children follows Dr Chattopadhyay who diagnosed the Khan children in 2003 as he returns to Calcutta to treat them. This is the first time that the family have been filmed for a documentary. Ikramul, 17, and Rehanna, 19, the two eldest progeria children, see this film as their opportunity to tell the world their story before they die.

The 80-Year-Old Children describes the race to solve this scientific riddle and ultimately cure this devastating disease. It also offers a moving testament to human dignity under tragic circumstances.





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Post by Pavy Crevis » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:21 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: Born With Two Heads
Monday 20th February 2006


http://www.channel4.com/health/microsit ... cases.html


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Manar Maged was born with a parasitic undeveloped twin conjoined to her head. Her condition, craniopagus parasiticus, has only been recorded ten times in medical history. The documentary follows the operation to remove the head, and her subsequent fight for survival.




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Post by Pavy Crevis » Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:50 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock - The Man Who Ate His Lover
1st March 2004


Visit: http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... nibal.html The full write up from the site is below. The site contains links to other sites that contain similar stories.


Information

*** WARNING: This documentary contains themes that may offend some viewers ***

Consider the following story line for the ultimate video nasty. Single man meets radical male masochist on the Internet. On their first date, the masochist offers up his penis as main course in a romantic dinner for two. After some teething problems over the best way to prepare the food, the two men enjoy a meal of garnished genitals. Satiated, and feeling woozy, the masochist is led upstairs to the bathroom, where he is left to bleed to death. Hours later, our host pops in to see how his date is doing, and finishes him off with a knife to the throat. He then butchers the body and barbecues the meat.

Even as fiction, this extreme tale of human weirdness would be difficult to stomach. So how do we respond when two middle-aged computer engineers turn this incredulous plot into jaw-dropping fact? Two words: shock and awe. Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes a German cannibal, Armin Meiwes, and his willing victim, Bernd-Juergen Brandes, to rewrite the book of bizarre human behaviour. Rarely has a criminal investigation aroused such ghoulish curiosity or raised such difficult questions about the dark places that the human mind can go.

Amid the media scramble surrounding the recent courtroom drama, there has been a clamour to understand and to explain this behaviour, which, incidentally, is not even illegal under either German or British law. In desperation, we turn to science for answers. What can rational objectivity tell us about such irrational acts of violence and mutilation? Perhaps not very much. But with little else to go on, we must be content with what morsels of knowledge we can find.

Nothing new

Cannibalism itself is hardly original. It has been documented in both ancient and modern human societies in various guises. Sometimes the motivation seems ritualistic or aggressive. In other cases it is simply a matter of survival, as it was during the infamous tragedy in 1972, when a plane carrying a team of rugby players crash-landed in a remote region of the Andes. Stranded for 70 days in a frozen wilderness, the only survivors were those who resorted to eating their dead teammates.

In court, Meiwes explained that by eating Brandes he felt that he was acquiring his victim's spirit and skills. It is a belief that seems to have been widespread in societies that have practised cannibalism. From the cannibalistic tribes of New Guinea to the Wari' Indians of the Amazon, the consumption of human flesh hasn't just been about eating, it was also about absorbing the qualities of the deceased.

Animal cannibals

Meiwes is certainly not alone in his taste for familiar flesh. The animal kingdom is littered with cannibalistic species. Snails, insects, spiders, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals all contain unscrupulous members that are undaunted by eating their own kind. When food is scarce, there is a clear Darwinian logic to cannibalism. It can even make evolutionary sense for a mother to eat her own young during especially hard times. Reproduction is a costly business, and if there is little chance of your offspring surviving to adulthood then why not eat them and recoup the energy you have invested, thus saving up for better times?

For some animals, food shortages are not the only occasions when cannibalism is a good evolutionary strategy. Take lions, for instance. When a new male joins a pride, he may kill and eat cubs fathered by other males. In doing so, he effectively removes individuals to whom he is genetically unrelated. Females will then come back into oestrous, enabling the male to father new offspring of his own. This way, he gets to re-populate the pride with his own cubs, and have a nice meal to boot.

Clearly, natural selection has favoured cannibalistic behaviour in some species. But in humans? Surely Meiwes' rather gauche attitude towards nutrition had little to do with getting his own genes into the next generation. In this case, it seems, evolutionary biology can give few clues in our hunt for explanations. Perhaps psychology, then, can offer some more salient pointers.

In mind

The cannibal mind has provided a veritable feast for hungry psychologists. But results have been difficult to digest. For a start, cannibals, we can only assume, just don't come in the kind of quantity required for rigorous scientific studies. So speculation has become the order of the day. And, judging by the number of theories now doing the rounds, cannibals may be a diverse little bunch. If we can safely say anything at all, it may be that there is no such thing as the typical cannibal.

Not surprisingly, mothers feature prominently in psychological explanations of cannibalism. Some psychologists believe that the desire to eat another person stems from the time when a child is weaned from its mother's breast. The separation anxiety may lead to frustration, aggression, and cannibalistic fantasises. It's as if the child acquires an intense urge to absorb its mother into its own body. Even if this desire becomes sublimated, it may re-surface in later life, particularly in response to stress or trauma. An overbearing mother is only likely to amplify these effects in children that are already susceptible. This pattern, if true, would certainly concur with the path Meiwes has taken. He first fantasised about eating people when he was a schoolboy. But it was the death of his domineering mother, when he was 37, that seemed to send him off the rails.

Sexual highs

But this can't be the whole story. If overbearing mothers were to blame then surely we'd be witnessing a feeding frenzy of cannibals. Time then to turn to that second psychological gold mine, the sexual disorder. The sketchy evidence that exists does suggest that sex may be a prominent feature in many cases of cannibalism. In the 1920s, for instance, the notorious American cannibal Albert Fish raped and murdered a string of children. But the real fun, he insisted, was in the eating. Fish experienced extreme sexual pleasure as he devoured his victims.

During the 1950s, American farmer Edward Gein combined his twin passions of cannibalism and necrophilia. More recently, in the 1980s, a Japanese cannibal, Issei Sagawa, fell in love with and then ate a French woman, declaring her breasts and buttocks to be delicious. Others who claim to have eaten human flesh, say that they experienced a sense of euphoria and heightened sexual pleasure. Some have even compared it to the effects of taking mescaline.

In 2002, the results of a psychological survey suggested that people would be much more likely to eat someone that they found sexually attractive. Meiwes did reject several potential victims before finally settling on Brandes. But his choice seems to have been based on culinary considerations rather than sexual ones. At the beginning of his trial, he declared that sex was not the prime motivation behind his consumption of Brandes. But the court heard later that Meiwes did derive sexual satisfaction from watching re-runs of his video nasty.

Mental illness

Perhaps the strongest factor linking the pedigree of criminal cannibals is serious mental illness. Some of the most infamous flesh eaters like Fish, Gein, Sagawa, and the Russian cannibal Andrei Chikatilo, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. Hallucinations, blackouts, and a heightened sense of awareness seem to be common experiences that accompany cannibalistic activity. Yet Meiwes has not been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and psychiatrists found him mentally competent to stand trial.

We might never know what it was that drove Armin Meiwes to snack on his own sort. Maybe it was nothing more sordid than the pursuit of money and publicity. After all, a book is already in the offing. But while Meiwes is undoubtedly an enigma he is, in many ways, the less interesting of our two protagonists. For if the actions of Meiwes are difficult to explain, then those of his victim are bewildering by comparison.

Why be eaten?

According to Meiwes, Brandes had fantasised about being killed and eaten since he was a child. Yet Brandes' homosexual partner, a key witness in the trial, testified that Brandes had shown no signs of depression. Nor had he offered any hints of his peculiar suicidal fantasy. In fact the two men had been planning a holiday together shortly before Brandes bought his one-way train ticket to Meiwes' home in Rotenburg.

Few people have so comprehensively explored the antithesis of reason as much as Bernd-Juergen Brandes. So bizarre was his behaviour that it makes that apocryphal migratory journey of the Norwegian lemming seem like sound common sense. Here is a man who was a willing volunteer in his own demise; someone who not only ate his penis, but enjoyed it in the full knowledge that it was to be his last supper. In those final few hours, what thoughts could possibly have been swirling around his semi-conscious mind as he lay bleeding to death, alone in the bath? His behaviour seems to go way beyond the pleasure and pain principle of sado-masochism into far more perplexing territory. Sadly, his own account will never be told.



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RunTime: 48:40
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Comments: Quality isn't brilliant and note that this does contain a black border all round the screen. The audio was badly out of sync so I chopped it up where I thought the adverts had been removed and re-sync'd the audio. It's still not perfect, but it's much better than it was.


Bodyshock - The Man Who Ate His Lover.avi  [355.33 Mb]

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Post by Pavy Crevis » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:15 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: The Girl with X-Ray Eyes
Monday 14th February 2005


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Natasha is a 17-year-old from Mordovia, near Moscow, who is considered able to diagnose medical conditions by 'seeing' inside the human body. Her claims are upheld by by many who say she has correctly identified an illness. The cameras follow her to the US where she takes part in experiments to determine the extent of her gift





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Audio BitRate: 128 kb/s CBR
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RunTime: 48:55
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Comments: The screenshots above make this episode look better quality than it really is. There is pixelation during movement throughout the programme. It is watchable though.




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Post by Pavy Crevis » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:13 am

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: The Man Who Slept For 19 Years
Monday ?? January 2005


http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... /coma.html


Information

Terry Wallis' 19-year journey back to consciousness is a remarkable story. But in June 1984, the time of his car crash, he was just another statistic; one more name on the list of 1.5 million Americans who sustain a brain injury each year. Perhaps it's going too far to say that Wallis was one of the fortunate ones, but he did at least survive his brain injury. Each year in America, 50,000 people are not so lucky.

Brain injury is the great silent epidemic. In the US alone there are estimated to be 5.3 million people (more than 2% of the entire population) living with disabilities brought on as a direct result of brain injury. It is the leading cause of death among children and young adults, and it kills 1.5 times more people annually than AIDS.

The UK has its own unnerving statistics. Each year, almost 12,000 people will suffer a head injury so severe that they will remain unconscious for six hours or more. After five years, only 15% of these people will have returned to work. Most head injuries are less severe of course. Of the one million people who visit a UK hospital with head injuries each year, the majority will arrive with only small bumps and knocks.

But even relatively minor head injuries can have serious consequences for the brain. The common symptoms of dizziness, nausea, headaches and memory loss can be complicated by depression, anxiety and mood swings. Most people will make a full recovery after three to four months, but in some cases the changes can be permanent.

The fragile organ

The brain can be damaged in a number of ways: through a stroke, tumour, infection, or a degenerative disease like Alzheimer's, for example. But probably the most common forms of brain injury stem from a physical trauma to the head.

The brain is an extremely delicate organ, with the consistency of firm blancmange. Any sudden jolt causes it to slide around, compressing and expanding as it goes. For the billions of neurons that make up the brain, this is bad news. If the jolt is serious enough, these long fragile nerve cells will be stretched, twisted and sheared.

The extent of internal damage can confound expectations. A gunshot wound to the head, for example, might seem catastrophic, and often is, but when an external object penetrates the skull, the impact is often localised. Contrast this with the kind of serious jolt to the head that might occur in a car crash. Though the skin might remain unbroken, the impact on the brain can be more diffuse, and more devastating as a consequence. The brain will be thrown backwards and forwards against the walls of the skull, causing extensive damage at the points of impact. A bad situation is made worse by the fact that the bones at the front of the skull have a rough, irregular texture that can literally shred the frontal cortex.

The initial impact is often only the start of the brain's problems. With nowhere else to go, blood escaping from burst arteries in the brain will gather in pressurized pools (called haemotomas) and squeeze the life out of neurons. The nerve cells come under further pressure from the swelling that occurs at the site of the injury (known as a cerebral oedema). If the swelling is serious enough, it can kill more neurons by cutting off their supply of blood and oxygen.

The brain bounces back

The brain is extremely sensitive to damage, but it is also surprisingly robust when it comes to recovery. Stroke victims, for instance, often suffer from partial paralysis or speech problems, but they usually regain some or all of their faculties over time. The speed and extent of recovery will depend on the location and extent of the injury, but the chances of improvement are generally much greater for the young than for the old.

A serious brain injury may condemn millions of neurons to death, but amazingly, new neurons may grow in their place. Recent research has shown that regeneration can occur in the hippocampus, a relatively primitive part of the brain that's associated with learning and memory. Elsewhere, the powers of neuron replacement seem restricted. Even so, the brain still has other strategies to overcome the injury.

When neurons die they release toxins that can paralyze neighbouring and otherwise healthy areas of the brain, exacerbating the effects of the initial injury. The job of cleaning up the toxins falls to the glial cells – the neurons' own support network. Once this mopping up operation is complete, millions of neurons are back in business. The disposal of toxic waste together with the rebuilding of damaged blood supplies can do much to aid the brain's initial period of recovery.

Elsewhere, surviving neurons themselves get in on the act, sprouting new lines of contact to help patch up damaged circuits; while the contacts themselves can become more sensitive to compensate for the loss of synaptic inputs. There is also evidence that the brain has circuits which are ordinarily silent but can be switched on in times of crisis.

Concussion and coma

Head injuries are often accompanied by a loss of consciousness. In mild cases, this means concussion lasting a few minutes or seconds. Concussion is caused by temporary neuronal paralysis, but strictly defined, there is no damage to the brain itself.

At the opposite end of the scale, comas are usually measured in terms of hours, days and weeks. They are typically caused by damage to the brain stem, an arousal centre located at the base of the brain. Injury, which can come from a direct hit or from pressure caused by swelling in other parts of the brain, effectively shuts down consciousness. Since the brain stem is a central hub for neuronal circuits, damage to this area can also have drastic knock-on effects that extend throughout the brain.

Comas are poorly understood and difficult to define. But in general, someone with their eyes closed all the time, who is unable to communicate or respond to instructions, is in a coma. Whether comatose people really are oblivious to the outside world is a moot point. People who have recovered from comas claim they had at least some awareness of their surroundings; they were just unable to demonstrate it. One apocryphal story even tells of a comatose Terry Wallis shaking his head when his family were presented with a massive doctor's bill.

Officially, the end of a coma is signalled by the opening of the eyes. Although it is a good sign that some functionality is returning to the arousal centre of the brain, people can remain trapped in so-called 'vegetative states' for months or even years after they open their eyes for the first time. In truth, people do not suddenly 'wake-up' from a coma; they make a slow and sometimes painful return to consciousness, via incremental improvements to their sense of themselves and their environment.

Healing power

When doctors first got a look at Terry Wallis after his car crash all those years ago, they knew that his prospects were not good. With extensive damage to his temporal lobe, frontal cortex and brain stem, the prognosis looked bleak. Days turned into weeks; weeks into months; months into years. The longer it went on, the worse his odds became. But his mother, Angilee, stuck by him on his 19-year journey back to consciousness, and his story became a real victory for the family who never gave up hope.

The doctors were right, of course: Wallis had all the symptoms of a lost cause. But the brain remains the most enigmatic of organs, tender yet tenacious, vulnerable but strong. It may be fragile, but it is nothing if not resourceful. Even in the most hopeless cases, it can still bounce back and surprise us.

But the brain doesn't get better just on its own. Like a muscle, it requires mental exercise to regain some of its strength. Specialised therapies are vital to the treatment of people recovering from brain injury. Even in older people, the brain retains a certain degree of plasticity, and faculties lost can sometimes be regained through the training and reworking of the brain pathways that remain. Angilee's routine visits to Terry's bedside may have been made more in hope than expectation, but who knows what essential nourishment her gentle but regular inputs provided?

Of course, Terry is not out of the woods yet. His awareness of himself and his surroundings are still distorted, and he seems to lack a short-term memory. Perhaps these faculties will never be regained. But if the Terry Wallis story teaches us anything, it is never say never.






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RunTime: 49:00
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Comments: As with The Girl with X-Ray Eyes, the screenshots for this episode make the quality look slightly better than it is.


Bodyshock - The Man Who Slept For 19 Years.avi  [397.27 Mb]

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Post by Pavy Crevis » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:30 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock: When Anaesthesia Fails
Monday ?? February 2005


Visit: http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... hesia.html The full write up from the site is below



Information

There was a time when ignorance of anaesthesia made surgery only slightly more appealing than execution. In those dark and distressing days, operating theatres staged gruesome performances of extreme human suffering. Prostrate patients, delirious with fear, had to be restrained with straps, while surgeons cut, sawed and hacked against the clock. This was not so long ago. Indeed, it wasn't until the late 1840s that anaesthesia became a regular part of surgical procedure. Now we have sophisticated sedation systems, but the fear of an anaesthetized patient regaining consciousness during surgery remains, for those on both sides of the knife.

By the beginning of the 19th century, a number of drugs began trickling into public consciousness. Alcohol and opiates had been available for centuries and their intoxicating properties were occasionally exploited during surgery, but it was in 1799 that the English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy discovered the anaesthetic properties of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). It could do wonders for a toothache, he claimed. Two decades later, his protégé Michael Faraday found that ether had similar effects.

The first official public demonstration of ether anaesthesia took place on 16 October 1846 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. It's difficult to overstate the importance of this medical milestone. For patients, the deep, ether-induced sleep offered escape from a terrifying trauma. For surgeons, it opened the door to a whole new world of operative inquiry. With the patient sedated, surgery could slow down, allowing a much-needed element of accuracy and control to come into the operation. The surgeon's scope of activity, once limited to speedy amputations and work at the surface, could now encompass more delicate areas like the inside of the chest, the abdomen and the skull. Suddenly, surgery was no longer seen as a last resort, but as an integral part of medical practice.

ABC of anaesthesia

First up is a thorough evaluation of the patient: in some ways, this is the most important aspect of the procedure. An assessment of the patient's weight, age, medical history and current medication enables the anaesthetist to make informed decisions on which drugs to use, when to use them, and in what dosages.

Before a patient enters the operating theatre, they are often given a sedative to help them relax and relieve any anxiety they may be feeling about the operation. This is followed by the general anaesthetic itself, usually administered via intravenous injection, which will cause loss of consciousness in the patient.

At this stage, it's also common to inject a muscle relaxant, so that the patient's body becomes more submissive to the surgeon's knife. Early forms of muscle relaxant were derivatives of the plant extract curare, a potent neurotoxin used by South American Indians to make poison arrows.

With the muscles paralysed, breathing is impossible, so the patient must be intubated and attached to a breathing machine throughout the operation. To sustain the anaesthesia, the patient typically breathes a sleepy blend of nitrous oxide, oxygen and halothane. This mix of gases is sometimes augmented by drugs fed intravenously through a canula in the patient's hand.

As soon as the operation is over, the patient is injected with a cholinesterase, a drug which reverses the effects of the muscle relaxant. Once normal breathing is re-established, the intubation tube can be removed and the breathing machine turned off. As the patient comes round, analgesic drugs are made available to control any post-operative pain.

A waking nightmare

In 1960 the medical community woke up to a startling revelation. A study had found that more than 1% of patients experienced some kind of awareness whilst under general anaesthetic, ranging from full-blown consciousness to recollection of fragments of surgical events. Pain and anguish during the operation were followed, in many cases, by mental problems afterwards. Some patients suffered from anxiety, depression and a pre-occupation with death. This was years before post-traumatic stress disorder was a recognised syndrome, but its symptoms were already on full display.

Anaesthesia has come a long way since this seminal study. More sophisticated drugs and improvements in technology mean that anaesthesia is safer than it's ever been. But the fear of consciousness regained during surgery still haunts the operating theatre. In a recent survey of over 10,000 patients who were due to undergo an operation, 54% said that they were anxious about anaesthetic awareness.

Are these fears justified? Latest estimates suggest that about 1 in 1000 patients will experience some level of awareness during surgery. What seems like a small percentage becomes far more significant when you realise that worldwide there are about 100 million operations annually. Which means that about 100,000 people will suffer from anaesthetic awareness every year. In 90% of cases, patients will suffer no pain, but the memory of the experience may lead to psychological trauma.

In a sense, anaesthetic awareness is a more terrifying prospect than the unsophisticated surgery of yesteryear, before the advent of anaesthesia. Back then, patients could at least register their discomfort with a scream. Today, there's no such luxury. The drugs for muscle paralysis that are often administered during surgery may leave patients utterly helpless. If the patient does wake up, there's no way to raise the alarm. They may hear and feel everything that's going on around them, but they are unable to communicate their pain.

The anatomy of failure

Mistakes are inevitable in any procedure involving a human operator. Some patients have woken up during operations simply because the anaesthetist failed to spot an empty gas bottle or a leak in the breathing system. But negligence alone cannot explain all cases of anaesthetic awareness.

Anaesthesia remains an inexact science. While things normally go according to plan, the whole procedure is dogged by elements of uncertainty. The anaesthetist's initial evaluation will direct him towards the most appropriate course of treatment, but the system isn't foolproof. Patients don't always tell the truth about themselves, especially when it comes to sensitive issues like drink and drugs. Even when patients are forthcoming, exact outcomes are impossible to predict. Individuals vary in their response to anaesthesia because of differences in health, history and genetics. And while the anaesthetist may be able to get a handle on the first two factors, tailoring an anaesthetic to an individual's unique genetic make-up is still something for the future.

Added complications arise in those operations where the anaesthetist is already walking a fine line. In caesarean sections, for instance, the anaesthetist must balance the needs of the mother with the needs of the unborn child. If he uses too much anaesthetic he runs the risk of damaging the child. But use too little and there is a real danger that the mother will wake up.

Of course, the modern operating theatre is equipped with all kinds of gadgets designed to help the anaesthetist monitor and control the anaesthesia. But the depth of anaesthesia remains a notoriously difficult quantity to measure. A monitor that provides a definitive guide to awareness is seen as the Holy Grail of anaesthesia. Currently, there is considerable excitement surrounding the bispectral index (BIS), a new device which turns the electrical activity of the brain into a simple measure of awareness.

The memory effect

General anaesthesia can be seen as a controlled coma, in which the anaesthetist steers the patient into unconsciousness and back again. Throughout the operation, the patient should remain oblivious to the surgeon's knife and unresponsive to instructions. When the patient wakes up, the surgery should be a blank to them. Of course, anaesthetic awareness represents a catastrophic failure of these principles. But the picture is far from black and white.

Evidence seems to suggest that even patients who have been adequately anaesthetized retain some sense of memory. In one experiment, for instance, patients under general anaesthetic were read a series of words during surgery. After the operation, they had no memory of the event. But when asked to pick out the suspect words from an identity parade, they were far more successful at doing so than the control subjects. In other words, explicit memory had been wiped clean, but implicit memory (involving the sub-conscious processing of information) was intact.

Interestingly, not all anaesthetic agents produce these kinds of effects. The physiological mechanisms underlying the action of anaesthetics are still poorly understood, but it seems clear that different anaesthetics act in varying ways, leading to correspondingly different effects on implicit memory.

There is concern among some physicians that any memory retained during operation, implicit or otherwise, represents a failure of general anaesthesia. Although implicit memory doesn't imply awareness, there are cases where patients have experienced classic post-operative symptoms of anaesthetic awareness, like depression, nightmares and anxiety, without any explicit recall of surgical events. Thankfully, anaesthesia has come a long way in 160 years, but with gaps like this in our knowledge it remains something of an enigma.





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Bodyshock - When Anaesthesia Fails.avi  [400.84 Mb]

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Post by Pavy Crevis » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:17 am

Channel 4 - Bodyshock - The Boy in the Bubble
11th September 2006


http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... index.html



Information

BodyShock tells the true story of the boy who grew up inside a bubble. In September 1971 in Houston, Texas, a baby boy was delivered under completely germ- free conditions into a plastic isolation chamber. Around the world he became known as The Boy in the Bubble.

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RunTime: 00:48:13
Captured By joy


Bodyshock - The Boy in the Bubble.avi  [449.01 Mb]

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Post by Pavy Crevis » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:30 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock - Kill Me to Cure Me
Aired: 25th September 2006


Bodyshock - Kill Me to Cure Me.avi  [393.44 Mb]



Information



Series looking at extreme cases in human science. A man with a potentially fatal aneurysm is put into suspended animation during his brain surgery operation, leaving him clinically dead for up to an hour. His blood is removed and cooled to just 15 degrees centigrade; hypothermia starts at 35 degrees and 27 is usually fatal.


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RunTime: 47:58.040
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BodyShock special - I am the Elephant Man (2008)

Post by Pavy Crevis » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:49 pm

Channel 4 - BodyShock special - I am the Elephant Man
Aired: 07/04/2008


BodyShock - I am the Elephant Man.avi  [393.84 Mb]


Information

In a moving and thought-provoking film China's 'Elephant Man', Huang Chuncai, tells his own extraordinary story as he undergoes surgery to remove tumours, weighing 20kg, that have caused him a lifetime of suffering and are now threatening his life.
As a small child Huang developed a swelling on the side of his face, but now, at the age of 31, the relentless growth of the tumours has destroyed his features and wracked his body: They now make up half his body weight. He has been diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes growths along the nerves. Surgery could have helped to control Huang's condition, but it is dangerous and his parents, who live deep in the countryside, could not afford it.
His story has parallels with Joseph Merrick, the Victorian 'Elephant Man'. As with him, people wanted Huang to join a travelling circus. But, also like Merrick, Huang has now been offered hope by a leading doctor. Huang movingly describes what it means to be trapped inside a body that he can't control, and which is likely to kill him young; so afraid of being laughed at that he has lived as a virtual recluse, never leaving his remote village.
The film also explores the effect the condition has had on his family, torn between love for Huang and the harsh realities of life. With the tumours now threatening his life, Huang has decided to act before it is too late. I Am the Elephant Man follows him as travels to one of China's leading cancer hospitals for the surgery that he hopes will allow him to live a normal life, but which also carries terrible risks.
I knew from an early age that I was different from others, that I was disabled,' he says. 'When I went to school people pointed and laughed at me, so I left school. I am a human being – not an animal.'

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Captured By: unknown

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Post by Pavy Crevis » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:12 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock - World's Biggest Boy
Aired: March 2007


Bodyshock - World's Biggest Boy - Tiggzz.avi  [349.60 Mb]


Information

At just seven years old, Dzhambulat Khatokhov (Jambik for short) is four foot three inches tall and weighs sixteen stone – as much as a baby elephant. He dwarfs his older brother who is twice his age and less than half his weight. But Jambik is a hero in his home town and an object of fascination in the West. In Bodyshock: World's Biggest Boy, British doctor Ian Campbell travels to the far south of Russia to meet Jambik and his family and uncovers a far more disturbing story than he imagined.

Nobody knows why Jambik is so big – or what this means for his long-term health. But Dr Ian Campbell, one of the world's leading experts on obesity, is determined to find out. Travelling over two thousand miles to the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, Campbell meets the ‘biggest boy in the world’ to see what, if anything, can be done for his condition.
Over the following week Dr Campbell observes Jambik to see if there are any clues in his everyday life that might explain his phenomenal weight. It becomes clear that he doesn't fit any obvious genetic conditions and behavioural factors alone can not explain his size.
But in this poor and superstitious corner of the world, Dr Campbell discovers that being big is far from seen as a problem. Jambik embodies the qualities people in the Caucasus greatly respect – strength and size – which has earned him the nickname Sosruko after an ancient hero from local mythology. But he is trapped by the attention that his size attracts. People are constantly feeding him and talking about his size.
During his stay, Dr Campbell struggles to find any natural or medical explanation for Jambik's alarming growth. But a meeting with their local doctor gives him a startling new lead which could reveal a more sinister reason for his size.
Could tests carried out at the local hospital several years ago on Jambik's bone density indicate the use of steroids? With growing concerns about the family's agenda, will a new series of tests in Moscow help uncover the truth behind his life-threatening size?

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RunTime: 47:55.680
Captured By: Tiggzz

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Bodyshock Special - The Girl with Two Faces (2008)

Post by Pavy Crevis » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:54 pm

Channel 4 - Bodyshock Special - The Girl with Two Faces
Aired: 16th September 2008


Channel 4 - Bodyshock Special - The Girl with Two Faces.avi  [473.50 Mb]


Information

http://www.channel4.com/science/microsi ... index.html
In early March 2008, a miracle occurred in remote, rural India. Against odds of 50 million to one, a baby, seemingly in perfect health, was born with not one but two faces. The news spread rapidly and on hearing about this extraordinary baby, just days after her birth, Bodyshock began following the amazing journey of baby girl Lali.
The centre of a news frenzy, this little girl is hailed as an incarnation of several Hindu gods. But what of her health and potential for a full life? Her condition, known as Craniofacial Duplication, is so rare that little is known about it, and of the few recorded cases, almost all babies have died in the womb. At six weeks-old she is losing weight fast.
My daughter is fine – like any other child,' says her father, Vinod. 'When I first saw her, I was scared. It's natural, but now I feel I'm blessed.' Whether regarded as a deity reborn or simply a child in desperate medical need, Lali's failing health leaves her future hanging in the balance and her parents with some incredibly difficult decisions.

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Captured By: Undercover Alien

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