Thursday, November 22, 2007

Housewatch - Episode 4.8

A little bit delayed, since I knew this would be an unusual episode to explain. (I have kept it very simple. Many of the dirty immunological details have been ignored.) Anyway, the patient had lupus, which is an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system loses its ability to distinguish self from non-self, and attacks its own tissues.

Why was it so hard to catch? Basically, he didn't show the usual symptoms, including the characteristic "butterfly" rash, which spreads across the face under the eyes. In the patient's case, a transfusion of improperly matched blood was affecting his blood cells, which was causing most of his symptoms, and masking or overlapping many of the lupus symptoms.

The explanation was really rushed at the end, but the ultimate problem was the patient had type A blood, while they thought he had AB. So, when given AB, he had a violent reaction to it, which was causing all the bloody episodes. They gave him type A blood and steroids to control the lupus, and he recovered.

Like I said, a lot of immunological difficulties have been swept under the rug.

Random speculations: Big Love got the axe this week, and was turfed for disloyalty. A little surprising, I thought his religion would keep him in. I think 13 is next. If she has Huntington's, she's out of there. Either way, she appears to have a fatal flaw that will get her kicked out soon. I presume the plastic surgeon will go, due to age, leaving us with Amber and Kutner to form the new team, along with Foreman.