Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Waterloo And Medicine Today

Date:
February 6, 2005
Source:
University College London
Summary:
The astonishing ability of wounded soldiers at the Battles of Trafalgar (1805) and Waterloo (1815) to survive severe trauma has inspired two pioneering UCL researchers to examine how the body heals itself under extreme conditions.

List of 102 wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar on board the HMS Victory.
Credit: Courtesy of The National Archives

The astonishing ability of wounded soldiers at the Battles of Trafalgar (1805) and Waterloo (1815) to survive severe trauma has inspired two pioneering UCL researchers to examine how the body heals itself under extreme conditions.

Related Articles


Professor Mervyn Singer and Dr Paul Glynne of UCL’s Bloomsbury Institute of Intensive Care Medicine are seeking to understand why mortality rates of 21st century patients suffering from critical illness still remain high despite the major technological advances of modern medicine.

Professor Singer said: “Despite the non-existence of antisepsis, antibiotics, blood transfusions, life-support machines and other paraphernalia of modern intensive care, most of these soldiers recovered, often from life-threatening injuries. Yet with all our technical advances in medicine, mortality rates from conditions such as serious infection have not improved dramatically over the past fifty years.”

Speaking at a lunchtime lecture in UCL recently, Professor Singer said that of the 52 survivors of the 13th Light Dragoons injured by sabre, gunfire and canon at the Battle of Waterloo, only three died. Only six of the 102 soldiers on board the HMS Victory succumbed, despite ten of them having amputations. He said: “The question we need to ask ourselves is whether our present understanding of underlying pathology in medicine is leading us down the wrong path, and whether our current interventions may even be injurious to the healing process.”

Many of the deaths occurring in intensive care patients (approximately 20–25% of all admissions) are due to multiple organ failure. This condition, most frequently induced by sepsis, which is the exaggerated whole-body inflammatory response to infection, results in a shutdown of the body organs, such as the lungs, gut and kidneys. A fascinating paradox is that these non-functioning organs actually look normal under the microscope.

Professor Singer and Dr Glynne have proposed the novel hypothesis that multiple organ failure may represent the body’s final attempt to stay alive in the face of a prolonged and potentially overwhelming insult, in the same way that hibernating animals become dormant in the Winter months. A recent study from the group suggested that how the body modulates its energy supply-demand balance may play an important part in determining whether a patient will recover.

Dr Glynne said: “We think that some septic patients become deficient in leptin, which is the protein hormone regulating hunger, body weight and metabolism, and this leads to energy failure and subsequent organ dysfunction. Exploring the links between leptin, body energy regulation and the severity of critical illness will reveal whether leptin, or one of its downstream targets, could potentially be developed as a new therapy for septic patients with organ failure.”

UCL’s lunch hour lecture series takes place twice weekly in the first two terms of the academic year. The lectures are free of charge and are open to staff, students and the general public, offering an exclusive insight into the diverse academic research taking place at UCL today.

To find out more about the Professor Mervyn Singer, the Bloomsbury Institute and the lunch hour lectures, use the links at the top of the page.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University College London. "Waterloo And Medicine Today." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125084202.htm>.
University College London. (2005, February 6). Waterloo And Medicine Today. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125084202.htm
University College London. "Waterloo And Medicine Today." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050125084202.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins