Friday, July 18, 2008

Word of the week: Valsalva maneuver

Named after the famed Italian anatomist of the 17th-18th century, the Valsalva maneuver entails forcibly exhaling against a closed glottis. This is typically used to open the Eustachian tube and equalize inner ear when experiencing a change of pressure (like during diving). Additionally, I had to explain to my students that it is also a method to facilitate defecation. Consider yourself warned, next time you're landing on a plane...


2 comments:

rob said...

There are some other great medical maneuvers. I just like them because I like the word maneuver.
Leopold's maneuvers is used to determine the position of the fetus inside a pregnant woman's uterus.
More interesting is the Epley Maneuvers which involves sequential movements of the head in order to eliminate debris from the inner ear that occurs in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Veritgo.

Bayman said...

don't forget the Heimlich. Old and familiar but still really cool when you think about it. Classic. Never had to use it though...