Captain Morgan Helps Hips in the Emergency Room

Medicine has advanced not just leaps and bounds but light-years over the last half-century. These days, patients benefit from brain scans, 3D ultrasounds, and robot surgeons. But there are some holdouts. If, for example, you have the misfortune of landing in the emergency room with a dislocated hip, there will be no robots. Your doctor will simply grab your leg and shove your hip back into place.

Hip dislocation happens when the head of the big leg bone called the femur slips—or is pushed—out of the hip socket. This can happen in a car accident, on the football field, or in the living room, for people with loose joints or hip replacements.

The traditional emergency department procedure for reducing (or fixing) a dislocated hip is called the Allis Maneuver. The maneuver requires a doctor to climb onto a gurney and straddle the patient. Not surprisingly, this can be challenging, unsafe, and awkward for both parties.

University of California emergency medicine professor Greg Hendey figured there had to be a better way, although he had no idea what the improvement might look like. That is, until one night several years ago when he was watching a commercial for Captain Morgan rum. The mascot struck his well-known pose: grinning lasciviously, with one foot resting on a barrel of liquor. 

Like a cooperative femur, everything fell into place. Hendey realized that a doctor could just put one foot up on the gurney, then use his or her knee to guide the patient’s joints back into place. He implemented the practice in his hospital, took notes on 13 cases where it was used, then wrote up his findings in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. 

Hendey and his co-author concluded that their Captain Morgan technique [Warning: graphic video] was an “interesting and novel” method, and that it was both easier and safer to perform than the Allis Maneuver. Doctors really liked the new method, Hendey told NPR: "Once they start using the Captain, they never go back."

Though Hendey’s sample size was small, later studies in other hospitals affirmed his conclusions. Researchers in Australia came up with the “rocket launcher” method of hip reduction and compared it to Hendey's. Despite its alarming name, they concluded that the rocket launcher technique was safe and effective—just not as effective as Captain Morgan. 

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84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
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It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.

A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
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Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.

Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.

American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
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With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.

Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
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A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.

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Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

Courtesy New District
Say ‘Cheers’ to the Holidays With This 24-Bottle Wine Advent Calendar
Courtesy New District
Courtesy New District

This year, eschew your one-tiny-chocolate-a-day Advent calendar and count down to Christmas the boozy way. An article on the Georgia Straight tipped us off to New District’s annual wine Advent calendars, featuring 24 full-size bottles.

Each bottle of red, white, or sparkling wine is hand-picked by the company’s wine director, with selections from nine different countries. Should you be super picky, you can even order yourself a custom calendar, though that will likely add to the already-high price point. The basic 24-bottle order costs $999 (in Canadian dollars), and if you want to upgrade from cardboard boxes to pine, that will run you $100 more.

If you can’t quite handle 24 bottles (or $999), the company is introducing a 12-bottle version this year, too. For $500, you get 12 reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines from various unnamed “elite wine regions.”

With both products, each bottle is numbered, so you know exactly what you should be drinking every day if you really want to be a stickler for the Advent schedule. Whether you opt for 12 or 24 bottles, the price works out to about $42 per bottle, which is somewhere in between the “I buy all my wines based on what’s on sale at Trader Joe’s” level and “I am a master sommelier” status.

If you want to drink yourself through the holiday season, act now. To make sure you receive your shipment before December 1, you’ll need to order by November 20. Get it here.

[h/t the Georgia Straight]


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