I love "Polite Dissent"

by Diane Duane

for rigorous medicine applied to that often non-medically-rigorous venue, the comics. The most recent example, quoted at length (and there’s more at source — I trimmed it a little):

Dr. Koslowski (narrating): Dr. Singh decided to inject 5ccs of Adrenalin directly into the Joker’s heart. It was our only chance to save thousands of lives.

Adrenalin injectionInjecting medication directly into the heart, despite what you may have seen in Pulp Fiction, is not a good idea. It’s too easy to lacerate a coronary artery (causing a massive heart attack) or inject the medication into the heart muscle (causing a fatal arrhythmia). It’s not done anymore….

Dr. Koslowski: At which point the Joker flatlined.

So what does the medical team do? They defibrillate him.
Once again repeat after me: Do not shock a flatline. It is a bad idea. It may work in comic book (like it does here), but in real life it doesn’t work and may actually make the situation worse…

Once again, the Joker suffers a cardiac arrest . This time, Batman himself jabs the Joker in the heart with a syringe full of Adrenalin. The second time’s a charm and it works! The Joker returns to consciousness and promptly escapes…which was all part of Batman’s plan; he wanted to trick the Joker into leading him to the third bomb.

…Let’s count the medical errors in a mere eight pages: the Joker flatlines and is subsequently defibrillated, not to mention injected twice directly in the heart with an overdose of Adrenalin.

Note to self: Do not seek emergency medical care in Gotham City. Hold it until you reach Metropolis.

Heh heh. Go Scott!

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