28 August 2008

Moly cow

Have you ever heard of a moly cow? Perhaps not. Some of Dr Grumble's patients need a moly cow. But the moly cow is running out of moly and that means that in the Grumble hospital bone scans are in short supply. Read on lest you think that poor Grumble has finally lost his marbles.

One of the most important medical radioisotopes is a metastable isotope of technetium. Technetium-99m has a half life of six hours. That means that if a lorry load of technetium sets out from the factory in Holland and takes six hours to reach the Grumble hospital half the load will have disappeared by the time it reaches the hospital. That is hardly convenient and that is why moly cows are needed. By milking a moly cow you can have a ready supply of technetium for scans such as bone scans. You can read about moly cows here. They are hitting the headlines at present because there has been a problem with the supply of molybdenum-99. This time the problem is in the Netherlands but last year there was a problem in Canada seriously affecting the supply of medical isotopes in North America. It seems the world is dependent on a very limited number of these man-made isotopes.

So now you know what a moly cow is.

5 comments:

madsadgirl said...

Fascinating.

Northern Medic said...

Looks like the BBC have picked up your story!

Shame they haven't bothered with the rest; then the public may learn what is really happening in and to the NHS.

Northern Medic said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7600041.stm

Dr Grumble said...

Yes Northern Medic. Thanks for highlighting that it was here first. They are a bit slow at the BBC.

After all the stick bloggers have had from the journos Dr Grumble did think of producing one of those self-satisfied posts pointing out how much ahead of the game he is but he thought his readers might find it tedious.

It curious what the media pick up on and what they are just not interested in. You would think that the direction the NHS is taking would be something rather newsworthy but until we all go on the streets they will pay scant attention..

Actually even when Dr Grumble along with thousands of others went on the streets over MTAS/MMC the BBC ignored it for some time. Dr Grumble did a post on that very topic.

The media and the politicians are in cahoots. Dr G used to think these conspiracy theories were nonsense but he now thinks otherwise. If you want to know what is going on read The Triumph of the Political Class by Peter Oborne.

NorthernMedic said...

You are indeed correct and it has been said often about the BBC; that it solely exists these days to be the mouth piece of the government.

I also find it curious what the media picks up on or leaves to solitary death and I have decided, unsurprisingly, that it is all about their own agendas and therefore reporting the news is all about reporting what furthers it and hinders it.

Cynical? Yes, but probably true.

PS I have had that book on my wish list since the last time you mentioned it and it shall be mine very soon. :D