There Ain’t no “Average” Patient

S.S. Post wrote of “The Death of Normalcy.” Here Prof. Peggy Mason slaps around the notion “average”

There is No Average Patient by Peggy Mason PhD @neuromooc – thebrainissocool

As many of you know, I love to hear your stories of your encounters with your brains. Through a circuitous route (no other type appears to exist in my world) that involves a marvelous final MOOC project by Luiz Meier (more on that another time), I was privileged to receive the following description of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from Paul Van Uytrecht, a mutual Facebook friend to Luiz and me. The account below is unedited except for the insertion of a few paragraphs to make it easier to read. Please read it and then stay with me for some comments on the average SAH experience followed by comments on the concept of average more generally.

Paul Van Uytrecht’s subarachnoid bleed

On Sunday 3rd August 2014, at around lunchtime, I developed what I now know are the classic signs of an SAH – sudden-onset severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea and some loss of balance. I can’t say that the headache was the worst that I have experienced, but it was severe and I would describe it as a burning sensation extending from both eyes over my head and into my neck. Read More



About Excitable Ape

Today is the best day of my life! I am the Artist In Residence of the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. I work as an expert in science communication for Harvard University. Along with my wife, the comics artist Sharon Rosenzweig, I create comics and comic videos for the Annals of Internal Medicine. I express my passion for promoting science literacy by creating science education materials that makes people laugh out loud.
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