The Week That Wasn't: Dual Uterus Pregnancy, Energy Drink Overdose, Fish Scales

Narrated by Ivan Oransky, MD


April 05, 2019

Hi everyone, this is Ivan Oransky, vice president of editorial here at Medscape, and welcome to Medscape's The Week That Wasn't. This is where we do a quick review of topics our news team chose not to cover this week. Let's get to it.

In a highly unusual story out of Bangladesh, a woman is now mother to three newborns...that aren't triplets. A few weeks after giving birth to a baby boy, she was rushed to the hospital complaining of stomach pains. Much to everyone's shock, an ultrasound revealed a second uterus that was hiding a set of previously undetected twins. The surprise duo was immediately delivered by C-section and, according to BBC reports, mom and babies are all healthy and doing fine.

The woman has been diagnosed with uterus didelphys, a condition that can result in two uteruses, two cervixes, and even two vaginas. While the diagnosis itself is less rare than you might think — around 1 in 2000 women have it — the odds of getting pregnant in two wombs at the same time are around 1 in 50 million. I certainly never saw that in medical school.

There are likely hundreds of such unusual cases every week that most of our members will never see in their own practices, which is why we don't often cover such fascinomas, but it is a truly intriguing case.

A less appealing story we also chose not to write about illustrates what one teacher says is a distressing effect of overdosing on energy drinks. A teacher recently shared some pretty graphic photos on Facebook of his pitted and pockmarked tongue, which he claims was caused by drinking up to six energy drinks a day. We'll spare you the images.

We have no way of knowing whether such drinks caused this man's problems, nor how long he's been guzzling them, but his post serves as a reminder of their potential dangers. Rather than giving you wings, you could wind up with heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, or convulsions, among other worrying symptoms. The American Beverage Association stands by energy drink safety — they would, wouldn't they? — but some experts suggest long-term use of these sugary, caffeinated cocktails can lead to cardiovascular issues, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Finally, some creative research that may one day help fight against antibiotic resistance. Scientists from Oregon State University are studying the slimy coating on fish scales that protects against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The mucus covering may trap infections before they can cause trouble, including 47 different strains of bacteria, five of which are related to the superbug MRSA. This creative idea was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. That means it's barely been tested in the lab, let alone in humans, so we swam away from this one for now.

For Medscape's The Week That Wasn't, I'm Ivan Oransky. Thanks for watching.

Script by Liz Neporent; video production by John Rodriguez

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