Sleep, sugar and falling out at Probus

The story of medical developments from the early days of the Egyptians to the 21st century would suggest one of seamless success.

But, upon closer investigation, is littered with dark tales of withering failure, financial ruin and professional back-stabbing beyond belief!

At its recent meeting in the Palace Hotel, Peterhead Probus Club members welcomed Dr Martin Pucci, a recently retired medical practitioner in the Buchan area.

Born in Montrose with an Italian grandfather, Martin divided his presentation into, ‘Sleep, sugar and falling out!’, choosing the three developments in anaesthesia, insulin and cardiac transplants as the basis of his talk. In each area, Martin introduced the main developments which have taken place, the professionals involved and the struggle between the main participants to achieve success.

In anaesthesia, the introduction of nitrous oxide and chloroform to ensure a pain-free operation was interspersed with the fascinating story of the personal struggles between William Norton, Charles Jackson and Horace Wells to achieve ultimate victory in the conquest of pain.

In the development of insulin,the work done by the Egyptians and 17th century doctors was built upon by Banting , Best and McLeod in the 19th/20th centuries.

Finally, Martin highlighted the work done in tissue rejection, from the transplant of kidneys in 1954 to the ground-breaking work done by Christian Bernard in South Africa.

In his vote of thanks, Dr Sandy Thain thanked Martin for his personal take on personalities and struggles behind major medical advances.

The next meeting of Probus is to be held on April 28, in the Palace Hotel at 10 am with speakers being Bob Antczak and George Whyte.