Tag Archives: lobar pneumonia

Chest 124; Displacement

2 Oct
Chest 124 C

Chest 124; Displacement

It has been a while since I last was able to produce any images for this blog. My time has been taken up making an animated video for a local festival – Light on the Fringe. That has been shown a few times both during the festival, and at events afterwards.  I have also been involved in making two new lectures, one on indications for radiological investigations for Physiotherapists, and the other about my digital artworks, to be given next week for doctors at our local hospital. It was also a time of importance to me – my first solo exhibition at the Umbrella Gallery. This is a publically funded gallery set up to encourage emerging artists like myself. At the same time my son has asked me to make him a dining table! This is a long-term project. I’m using recycled hardwood from an old work-bench (with rusty nail holes and saw-cuts to be included) and am setting four beautifully figured sand-stone slabs into the top. All these projects require acquisition of new skills, whether in animation techniques, or in learning how to polish stone. So, my life in so-called retirement has been busy.

This dark image comes in mid-2015 at a time of crisis in the Middle East when millions of refugees have taken to the road. Over 5 million Syrian refugees registered with UNRWA. Syrians are migrating into Europe fleeing the war. Australia has offered to take a small number.

Other countries such as Sweden and Germany have opened their gates whilst others like Hungary have slammed them shut. This is ironic when Hungary who had so many refugees migrate to other countries in their time of need is turning its back. The Gulf State countries are ignoring the problem. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait are by far the richest nations in the region because of the gargantuan oil reserves they reside on. Yet they have not taken any refugees. Israel has refused to take a single refugee. The crisis has also emboldened racists to be open with their anti-Arab bigotry. German neo-Nazis have attacked refugees and shelters created for asylum-seekers. It is possible to draw historical parallels to both Europe and the US treatment of Jewish refugees before and during the Holocaust.

I attempted to produce an image showing how people are being torn apart by the terrible situation in which they find themselves. The original X-ray came from a young Ethiopian man, a refugee, accepted into Australia years before, who presented with lobar pneumonia. This is a condition caused by a bacterium, strep pneumonia, and can be quickly lethal.

The X-ray has been repeatedly copied and overlaid to impart depth and solidity to the central figure, it shows movement not from the frying pan into the fire rather from heat into the cold symbolising the way so many people seeking help have been turned back, shut out.

Even without the back story I find the fragmented solidity of this image personally disturbing.

Chest 83; Lung field

11 Aug
Image

Chest 83; Lung field

The analogy of the gate and field are relevant to this X-ray, however the reference in this picture should be explained; it is a personal joke. One of my senior colleagues objected to the use of the term Lung fields when used in radiology reports. It was her personal bete noir and she would sharply reprove any junior staff foolish enough to use the phrase, “Cows live in fields! Where are the lung cows?” she would say.

The index X-ray was from a child with lobar pneumonia (in the right upper lobe) with a white-out in the right upper lung field. The pneumococcus is the commonest organism causing this disease. As students we were required to learn the pathological phases of pneumonia; Congestion, Red hepatisation, Grey hepatisation and Resolution, through which the disease passes. There are numerous defences designed to protect to the healthy lung, which is usually sterile with no resident bacteria: Nostril hairs stop large particles, epiglottis prevents incursion of food particles, respiratory mucus traps inhaled bacteria, and cilia – microscopic hair-like structures – waft debris out of the airways. Immune mechanisms including white cells protect and ingest bacteria. When these gates are inadequate or overwhelmed by sheer numbers of bacteria then an infection occurs.

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