Feeds

Brits can't tell their heart from their elbow

Grey anatomy

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A good proportion of Brits have almost no idea where their major organs are located, with just 50 per cent able to identify where eight key internal body parts lie.

That's according to research by a King's College London team which quizzed 722 people from the out-patient departments of Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s hospitals and "an opportunistic sample obtained primarily from users of a south London public library".

The purpose of the test was twofold: To see if public performance had improved since the last such survey back in 1970; and to see if those suffering a particular illness, for example of the liver, were any the wiser as a result of their ailment.

Four possible locations of the kidneys

The subjects were given diagrams showing four possible locations of the organ in question (see pic). While 94 per cent of the general public knew just where the intestines are, just 45.9 per cent could spot the liver and a mere 27.1 per cent pinpointed the lungs and kidneys.

While the results were pretty much the same for males and females (45.4 per cent and 50.9 per cent overall, respectively), women were "significantly better at identifying organs on female body outlines". Forty-three per cent of them successfully marked the ovaries, but a disappointing 31.7 per cent of chaps managed the same.

Two specific groups did manage to score well above average. Those among the out-patient sample suffering from liver disease scored 75.3 per cent in spying the liver and those with diabetes clocked up 75.3 per cent nailing down the pancreas (just 30.8 per cent of the general public).

In the case of gastro-intestinal complaints, though, 46.3 per cent of sufferers located the stomach, not much different from the 48.1 per cent of the general public who managed the same.

Overall, the results hardly differed from those in 1970, with a current mean total of 52.5 per cent, compared to 51.4 per cent.

The researchers conclude: "Many patients and general public do not know the location of key body organs, even those in which their medical problem is located, which could have important consequences for doctor-patient communication.

"These results indicate that healthcare professionals still need to take care in providing organ specific information to patients and should not assume that patients have this information, even for those organs in which their medical problem is located."

The findings are published in journal BMC Family Practice. There's a pdf of the results here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.