Archive for medicine

fit data to your model [bobologie]

Posted in Kids, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2020 by xi'an

A few weeks ago, I contacted my general (and sport) practitioner for a mild issue with hurting toes, as they were indeed hurting and not only during or after my daily runs (!). Since the beginning of lockdown. I thought he would tell me to contact him later and stop running in the meanwhile but instead he told me to come to his office and after a rather cursory glance at said toes started discussing on a rare occurrence of COVID-19 induced frostbite-like toes. He then ordered a blood test which I took the next morn. Right after my (legit and solitary) one hour run. The results of the test were within the “normal” boundaries, except for the D-dimer test which was above the limit and is usually intended for detecting deep venous thrombosis. (As reported on Wikipedia, “a four-fold increase in the D-Dimer protein is a strong indicator of mortality in those suffering from COVID-19.”) This caused my physician to react quickly by prescribing me a cocktail of anticoagulants, corticosteroids and antibiotics. And another test four days later, incl. one for COVID-19. While anticoagulants made sense wrt to the coagulation issues, the corticosteroids were a surprise as they had been earlier pointed out as a potential aggravating cause for younger patients. Including by the French Ministry of Health. I thus asked my daughter for advice, as she had been triaging potential COVID-19 patients in the emergency room for the past month and she was strongly negative about the treatment, both because of the corticosteroids and of the antibiotics. Treatment that was apparently advocated by my practitioner on his own. I thus waited for the second round of blood tests, which returned a lower D-Dimer level and a negative signal for COVID-19. (In the meanwhile, I had spotted a BMJ paper on the possible impact of extended running on the D-Dimer levels and hence waited till the mid-afternoon to take the test!) While this ended up as a non-story, only made more exciting by the lack of competitive events during the lockdown!, I find it interesting that my doctor, who was most reasonably worried about the rising number of COVID-19 among his patients, leaned towards a viral conclusion with little data, as my month-old return to intensive (daily) running was a more likely explanation for sore toes…

À la Sorbonne

Posted in pictures, University life with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2016 by xi'an

iuf16This morning, in Sorbonne,  I attended the opening ceremony for the 26th promotion of l’Institut Universitaire de France (IUF), as I had the incredible chance of being nominated a senior member of this French virtual institute this Spring and for the incoming five academic years. (I had been nominated once already, from 2010 to 2015.) This institute is virtual in that its members remain in their home university, with a comfortable grant that buys teaching off and provides research support. This morning ceremony was mostly attended by the new members and the main event was a talk by Jules Hoffmann, Medicine Nobel Prize in 2011, who gave a very engaging talk in immunity and his work on the characterisation of immunity, first on flies and then on humans. The setting was the Grand Ampithéâtre of the historical Sorbonne building, only used now for academic ceremonies such as this one. (And also rented for private events…)