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Dec 13 2013, 05:50 PM
Dec 13 2013, 05:22 PM
Dec 13 2013, 04:08 PM
Dec 13 2013, 04:07 PM

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Is ANY of this based in real life science? Or are we just supposed to role with this bullshit?
Yes, actually --even though it sounds so 'out there' when Daniel explains it -- DOOL does seem to be doing a fairly decent job of tracking a real medical procedure called chelation therapy. This procedure has been around for decades. I think -- not sure -- it was first developed after WWI for gas poisoning. Anyway chelation is frequently used today with great success to treat heavy metal poisoning after exposure to toxins such as lead, mercury, arsenic, etc. The body cannot successfully excrete such heavy toxins, which have incredibly long 'half lives' and lodge in organs and bones to cause damage years later.

Chelation works by injection of different organic compounds through heated drip therapy. The compounds find and bond with the toxins and pull them from the bones and organs into the blood stream, where the toxins are broken apart and can then finally be excreted from the body. Chelation therapy can be quite painful and can cause high fevers during and after treatment. In addition to its traditional use in heavy metal poisoning, chelation has also been tried recently in other more risky procedures for other diseases.

I don't know much about that, but I know a good bit about the chelation therapy because one of my cousins had to undergo the treatments for months to save her life. She and her husband are artist/photographers who have lived in the Colorado mountains for many years. When they were in their twenties, they participated in summer art workshops held at an old Victorian mansion which used well water. They loved being in the mountains so much that they lived there year round as caretakers for several years, before they moved on to other pursuits. Literally decades later, they were both diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning, ultimately alleviated by chelation therapy. It was a very hard time. My cousin had some horrible problems with multiple organs. Unfortunately, such long term poisoning by well water is not uncommon in Colorado.

So I'm OK with DOOL on this part of the story. It's not exactly medically correct but a good effort -- close enough for soap stuff. And it brought sweaty, shirtless Eric together with Nicole in a fever delirium. Can't complain about that.
Doesn't chelation require you to know what toxin it is you're trying to remove from the body? From what I remember, Dan has no clue what the masking agent used was. All he knows it that it apparently has a long half-life. (Not sure how he can be sure of its half-life if he doesn't know what it is.) Also, how can he be sure that the original drug has an equally long half-life? Couldn't the masking agent have a longer half-life than the drugging agent?
The other difference is that heavy metal poisoning is commonly the result of extended exposure to lead, mercury, etc., not just a single dose of it.
Well, I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV.... :D But, no, I do not believe that chelation therapy requires prior knowledge of the specific toxin to be successful. I say that for two reasons. First, my cousin, after the chelation was started, was found to have poisoning from multiple metals, more than first diagnosed. Second, the injected organic compounds find and bind with multiple minerals, even beneficial ones, so the drip also contains supplements for such minerals so the body will not be depleted by the treatments. Once chelation starts, blood tests continue to be taken to see which toxins are coming into the bloodstream from the bones/organs and kidney function is constantly monitored to make sure the toxins are broken apart for excretion to take place properly.

As for Daniel's explanations about the masking agent, this is my recollection: He did find traces in Eric's blood of an unusual but nontoxic chemical that he believes must have been used as a masking agent to hide the presence of an unknown toxin that he cannot identify. He knows the masking agent has a long half life because he can still see its presence, but its presence alone is not sufficient proof of poisoning. Since Eric's poisoning, Daniel has read in medical journals about new uses for an existing therapy, that leads him to believe he can pull use different compounds to pull more of the masking agent into the bloodstream and separate it from the toxin so that the toxin itself can be seen. He classified the procedure as experimental, painful, and somewhat risky and didn't guarantee its success. So the masked toxin might not have a long half life, but since it has been chemically bonded to a substance that does, perhaps it can be still be seen when separated. I'm sort of guessing it will. LOL

Because of my cousin's horrible health problems, I am well aware that her heavy metal poisoning came from extended exposure to that seemingly crystal clear well water in those beautiful mountains. But, as I mentioned in passing, there are numerous attempts today to expand the use of chelation therapy to many other experimental uses. So, IMO, it is not completely absurd for DOOL to offer up a somewhat similar treatment as part of this story line. I'm not going to hold DOOL to the TV standards of a medical procedural drama. It's close enough for soap stuff for me -- actually much closer than most medical soap stuff. So...I'm good with it...and just waiting for the next installment.
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