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House Fodder

House: Human Error

House Episode 3-24F : Human Error

Airdate May 29, 2007

This is a full review - a shorter capsule review is also available.

The Hook:

A coast guard helicopter hovers over a stormy ocean at night. In the water a rescue diver struggles to reach a young man nearby under the brutal downwash of the rotor. The man persists in holding onto a suitcase as he struggles. The suitcase is wrapped in plastic and sealed with tape. The diver tells him to let go of the suitcase but the man continues to struggle with it. In the helicopter a woman shivers and rocks in pain. The crew fights to maintain the helicopter in position and worries over the their fuel status, which has reached the point that they must return to base or crash. In the water, the diver grasps the young man an attempts to get him onto the rescue harness, but the man begins to sink, still desperately gripping the suitcase. At a gesture from his winch operator, the diver holds the waterlogged man underwater until he releases his grip, then hooks him to the rescue harness from the helicopter. The half-drowned man gestures futilely toward the suitcase, even as the winch hauls them to safety. Once in the helicopter the man rattles off a rapid string of Spanish as he tenderly embraces the woman, whom he calls "Marina". One crewman translates for the rest that "he says his wife is sick". Another crewman tells the translator to tell him he should have worried more about his wife and less about her clothes. The man explains that the suitcase contained medical records, not clothes. The translator says that he wants to go home, but the man, in broken English, corrects the translator. He doesn't want to go home, he wants go to see House : Dr. House.

Act 1

In the background the young man, Esteban, hovers over Marina's bed, as Cuddy phones unproductively, searching for House. The object of her search sits in the cafeteria while his phone, ignored, threatens to vibrate off the table. He's hiding behind a newspaper, wearing a nondescript ball cap ("Best in Show") and occasionally ducking behind the newspaper when anyone in the next room : seen through a glass partition : looks his way. It's Foreman's going away party in the next room, and everybody is there. Everybody except Cuddy, and apparently…

Wilson, who catches House in his hidey-hole. "You don't answer your phone any more?" "I'm world famous now : the press won't leave me alone." Thus comes the first of many unanswered questions in this episode, and search as I may, I haven't found clues to many (read "any") of them. So let the is be UQ#1: How did word of House's diagnostic prowess reach a couple in Cuba? I mean, we know he's famous (infamous, notorious) around Plainsboro, New Jersey, what with the occasional police vendetta against him, and he's definitely a well known pain-in-the-ass to certain pharmaceutical executives, lecture circuit tyros, and the whole staff of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, but just how does that translate into international fame : especially into a repressive communist country? Can you name any famous Canadian diagnosticians? I'm unfair to Canada, can you name any famous American diagnosticians? Anybody? So how did they learn about House over there? Is it the efforts of the hitherto unsuspected tireless PR staff of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital? We'll never know. But I digress…

Wilson says he gets the calls since House won't answer, and his patient's been waiting for hours. No appointment, says House. No, but she risked her life to get to you Wilson says. "You don't reach terra firma, you don't get any milk or honey" House says, thus mixing up political refugees with Moses. Speaking of which, there goes UQ#2, how did Esteban and Marina get in the country : the current policy of the Coast guard is to turn back ‘refugees' who don't actually reach US soil. I suppose it could be a compassionate exception, but when "Your Mama died to get you here" doesn't work (see Elian Gonzalez) I'm not sure how Esteban and Marina get to stay. Oh, and UQ#3 : how did they even find them in the dark, in a storm? Or even know that they were in trouble. There may be an answer, but we're given no hint of it. But I digress…

Wilson says the woman has ten different things wrong with her and pains all over her body, "Admittedly, not as interesting as staring uselessly at Foreman." House says goodbye parties are a strange phenomenon : celebrating the fact that someone is leaving you. Wilson reminds House that Wilson is really leaving, and wants to know what House proposes to do to keep him. He knows, and nothing, is House's response. Nothing he can do, House says, more money, more responsibility, better working conditions or better job don't seem to interest Foreman. "He just wants not to be me." "Because," says Wilson, "he thinks you're a cold-hearted bastard without any regard for anyone but yourself." "He's right," says House, taking a big bite of jelly-filled doughnut. "You need to show him that you really do care." "Don't," says House making a face and dismissing Foreman as replaceable. "House, you play a guitar you got in ninth grade, ("Eighth." interjects House), you've been living in the same apartment for fifteen years, you drive a ten year old car - you are not good with change." "He's not afraid to be you, he afraid to be who he thinks you are." Interesting how Wilson sees qualities in House that House denies exist. Who's fooling themselves, House or Wilson? Wilson leaves as House contemplates this and chews his doughnut.

We see Foreman's face over his computer monitor as Chase and Cameron discuss the latest case in the background. Foreman is happy and chuckling, his going-away white shirt is radiantly white. But despite his preoccupation with his screen, he's been listening to the discussion behind him and tosses over his shoulder "It all fits as long as the symptoms started when you think they started." House enters and gazes sourly at seeing Foreman happy. House toys with an empty gift-box, and moans about the lack of records. Chase opines that when you come from a dirt-poor tropical country, infection runs rampant and is the most likely cause of Marina's problems. House counterpoints that Castro knows how to do two things well : look great in green and train doctors : so even if there are no records they can be sure Marina was pumped full of antibiotics. So what doesn't Castro know? How to lay his hands on the latest high-tech scanning equipment : so he sends Cameron to get cracking on an MRI of her head, while Chase is to check out the husband, on the theory that any symptoms he has were caught from Marina, thus any they don't share are her original symptom. I'm wondering wouldn't that be the other way around : wouldn't Esteban be most likely to have the things Marina's had the longest? House looks over Foreman's shoulder, hoping, I guess to find what website has him so amused. I'm guessing the Filmfodder "Lost" blog, a laugh riot. But what we can see looks like a boring old document. Maybe it's his letter of resignation? House and Foreman exchange some sort of look, but it's hard to read, House making sort of a grimacing smile. Neither says anything.

In an examining room, Chase talks to Esteban, who says his only problem is sunburn. Esteban wonders why Dr. House is not examining his wife (Cameron is). "We had permission!" he says. OK, so let this be UQ#4. Who's permission is he talking about? Cuban? If so, what was he doing in an unreliable boat in a storm? They have airline flights in and out of Cuba. The State Department? The Coast Guard? The PPTH board? We'll never find out. Chase tells him it's just the way Dr. House works - as we see repeatedly when House approaches patients or families late in the case only to be asked ‘Who're you?' Chase tells him that's just the way House is, that's who he risked his life and came a thousand to see : and furthermore he made the right choice.

Marina takes off her cross in preparation for the MRI. She tells Cameron that she is the religious one of the family, Esteban takes care of the mechanical details, like the sinking boat with the failing motor. Hope Marina prays better than Esteban mechanics. Marina says Esteban can fix anything, though : except for that "estupid motor… and me."

Back in the diagnosis room, Chase reports back to House that Esteban has bumps and bruises but no other pains, though he does have a rash, fever, cough, and elevated bilirubin. Then he adds, out of nowhere, that "Foreman's not going anywhere." His theory is that Foreman doesn't really want to leave, and House doesn't really want him to, therefore Foreman will cave, just like Cameron did. "Foreman's not as easy as Cameron," House says, "but of course, who is?" "I'm in the room," says Cameron, who is. Chase continues suggesting reasons Foreman would want to stay and strategies House might employ to keep him, and House shoots each down, which repartee comes to an abrupt halt when Foreman walls into the room with a smile and a theory. "She has MS!" Chase quibbles that the husband has some of the same (but not all of the same) symptoms which points to other causes. Foreman suggests starting her on interferon to see if she improves, and House flabbergasts Chase by responding "Well done. Do it." Foreman leaves as Chase boggles "Well done?" He's never heard House use these words before. "Is that what you think he wants, a pat on the head?" "Go do your job." House says, and Chase and Cameron rise to leave. House continues staring at the monitor (the same one Foreman was looking at earlier) but darned if House can find what was so funny.

In a treatment room, Foreman starts the interferon as Esteban tells him "She does not have MS." He says the doctors in Cuba would have found that. Almost immediately some electronics begin to beep, exciting Esteban, but Foreman finds a loose oxygen sensor and reattaches if as Marina frets. But Marina is fretting because the pain is getting worse. Foreman gently turns her wrist over asking if it hurts, and Marina screams in agony. The wrist turns into an x-ray of her broken wrist bones, which…

House is looking at and turns and asks the Hice for alternate explanations to Foreman being superman. Cameron and Chase both talk about what it isn't leaving Foreman to suggests bone cancer, which Chase thinks is a long shot. "Why," House says, " because metastatic tumors don't explain the abnormal MRI, the cotton mouth, the double vision?.... Oh, wait, they do." ‘So could infection,' Chase says, suggesting House is trying to ‘kiss up to Foreman." They back and forth for a while, until House breaks the tie and says to put her in a PET scan and see what else is breaking. Chase can't let well enough alone and raises his voice to his boss "This isn't going to work! He's not a moron. You can't just agree with everything he says and hope he forgets the last three years and how much he hates you." House takes this rather mildly and tells them to let him know when they get the results of the PET scan. He leaves, Foreman leaves, Cameron leaves, and Chase stands alone in Radiology, hanging his head.

Later, Chase enter House's office to say "I don't really care if Foreman stays or goes, but…" "You're fired" interrupts House. Chase is speechless for a few seconds, then asks if it's because he yelled at House. House tells him its because he's been there the longest, learned all he's going to, and it's time for a change. After a little longer speechless interval, Chase says "Fine," for lack of anything else to say, turns and leaves. House says nothing, lowers his gaze to his paperwork, but looks up again as the door closes. If there's a plan, here, it's eluding me. So I guess ‘Why fire Chase?" becomes UQ#5.

Act 2

Cameron and Foreman are performing the PET scan, when Chase comes in to tell them he's been fired. Cameron and Foreman react in disbelief, then debate over House's reasons, or lack thereof. Chase, looking over their shoulders, points out a "hot spot" on Marina's humerus. They turn to the monitor to look, and when they turn back, Chase has gone.

In his office, House plays air guitar with the aid of his flashy new cane. He's totally rocking out and I'm wondering "Where's the limp?" Could this be a new therapy? As House sways and a spins, Cameron and Foreman come in looking concerned and disgruntled. House grimaces and switches off the music. Cameron leads: "Why'd you fire Chase?" House says first they have to tell him the results of the PET scan. Foreman asks if House did it for him? Which causes Cameron to whirl on Foreman and ask if he asked House to fire Chase, which Foreman denies. "Yes." Says House, though to what question we're not sure in this rapid fire exchange. Cuddy comes in and asks the question of the day, but House just wants to know about the PET scan. Cuddy throws Cameron and Foreman out, and tells House he can't just fire Chase like that. Wilson comes in with two questions, with the first one being "What the Hell's wrong with you?" House asks him if he knows what's on the PET scan. Cuddy orders him to pick up the phone and unfire Chase. House picks up the phone and leaves Chase a message asking for the results of the PET scan. Cuddy begins her tirade again, but the phone rings, and House answers and asks "Dr. Chase, how are yah?" He apparently gets some information about the PET scan and House responds "Thank you. You are indispensable. But you're still fired. Sorry" He tells Cuddy and Wilson that there's a blood clot in his patient's arm, so he's got to go. Cuddy and Wilson look at each other, then at the departing, exasperating House.

In Marina's room, Foreman is telling Esteban that the clotting means there's a heart problem and they must do an emergency angiogram. The angiogram is necessary because the PET scan is not totally definitive, which leads Esteban to worry that they haven't gotten anywhere. Foreman says at least we ruled out MS, to which Esteban responds ‘I told you she didn't have it, already.' Esteban's English skills seem to have improved dramatically from his helicopter ride days. Were they first detained in an internee camp with an ESL class for a few months? UQ#6. Esteban wants to see "Dr. House", but Foreman tells him House has left for the night and will review the results in the morning "if you sign consent." Esteban signs. Two small horns grow out of Foreman's forehead, as he suggests that Esteban could call House at home, and encourages to keep calling for as long as it takes to get House to pick up. Do they screen calls in Cuba, too? Culturally, should Esteban have any idea what Foreman is talking about? UQ#7.

House sits in his apartment and stares at his eighth grade guitar on the wall and pointedly ignores the phone, as Esteban leaves his umpteenth message. We cut to Marina's room where Esteban caresses her hair as orderlies wheel her out for the procedure, even as we hear another message being recorded at the House domicile.

In the OR, Foreman inserts a catheter to begin the angiogram while Cameron sits at the wall, pointedly not assisting. She still thinks he had something to do with Chase's termination, and Foreman denies it again. The catheter threads it's way up a vein to Marina's heart, where it will be used to inject a dye into the bloodstream to allow them to examine the blood vessels around the heart. Marina is conscious, and asks if everything is OK. Cameron asks why Foreman would tell House he's leaving because House is a jerk. Foreman says it's because it's the truth. I guess angiograms don't require fully sterile operating rooms, because House walks in though two sliding doors asking if Foreman gave an angry Cuban his telephone number. Foreman questions why, instead of picking up the phone and giving his patient's husband five minutes of his time, he chose to give up sleep and come in to the hospital.

Before House can answer, Marina slips into defibrillation, alarms beep, and all three doctors spring to action. Foreman angrily denies nicking an artery or doing anything else to cause this. House feels her neck and declares that Marina has no pulse : but Marina is still conscious and talking. House tells her to cough and keep coughing to push blood into her head. Foreman begins CPR and Cameron brings a breathing mask and bag, saying Marina needs to be put on bypass. House says she needs to stay here on CPR, because bypass machinery could push a clot into her brain and kill her. As Foreman and Cameron work feverishly to keep blood pumping and air in her lungs, House asks for speculation as to why the heart stopped, "assuming it wasn't human error". Electrical instability is one possibility, but they've seen no sigh of that. House tells them to "keep going until I figure this out" and strides from the room as Cameron repeatedly yells "House!".

Act 3

House casually interrupts Wilson in the middle of an operation of his own (by talking over a video monitor) to ask for suggestions on his case. Wilson's guesses are human error (nope), electrical instability (nope), ischemia (nope). Human error is all that's left, Wilson says, but House insists it's not that (which is more than he said to Foreman.). Wilson says House just doesn't want it to be human error, because that would require him to mock Foreman, thus putting an end to House's brilliant scheme to retain him. He tells House he's busy, and he should run his ideas by his own team. House say's they're both busy doing CPR, which gives Wilson an opening to say "Then you shouldn't have fired Chase. Change is fun, huh?" House looks thoughtful. We see here just how much House needs someone to bounce his ideas off of. Remember him recruiting the substitute Hice on the airliner to act as his sounding board : a 12 year old boy, a disgruntled woman, and a man who spoke little English? Maybe he should go find 3 ambulatory patients and herd them before the White Board o' Symptoms.

Back in the catheter room, the doctors have been joined by a team of nurses. (Were their cry's for help heard though the walls? Or did Cameron dial the phone with her toes?) Foreman says the patient can't take more than another half hour of this. One nurse reports that House still isn't answering his phone.

At the nursing station Esteban asks where his wife is and gets the institutional answer : when we know anything we'll call you.

Cuddy leads a group of first year medical students through the hospital. House interrupts from the balcony to ask for suggestions for his case from the students. House offers an "A" in Cuddy's class if anyone can tell him why the patient's heart stopped. One student suggests "human error" drawing a sarcastic response from House. Another suggests Marfan's syndrome. Structural abnormalities would show on the echo : you get a ‘C'," House says. "Botox injections?" "F" But the student suggests if the injection was tainted with live botulism, it'd fit. House ups her grade to "B plus" and tells her to send him her resume. So he needs another besides Honey? (I'm still holding out hope.) A sweaty Foreman finds House to tell him "Time's up. Either our patient goes on bypass or I call time of death."

Cuddy is horrified to learn that the resuscitation efforts are still going after three hours, and orders a heart bypass. I'm still wondering how a bypass machine can force a clot into her brain and all that vigorous CPR won't. UQ#7, I guess.

Esteban is horrified to see his wife being rushed into an OR for a heart bypass. The team leave him, angry and frustrated, at the OR door.

House is in his office idly tossing his giant tennis ball at the ceiling. Esteban comes in to confront House, who first mistakes him for the cleaning crew, then quibbles over his verb tenses. All Esteban wants to know is what's happened to his wife and what they're doing about it. Unfortunately, those are the two things House doesn't know. Esteban confronts House, asking him how he can diagnose a patient he never sees. House seems to react to this criticism and leaves the room.

House goes to the OR to examine Marina's now fully exposed heart. The surgeon can't see anything wrong with the heart. Neither can House. He watches as the heart surgeon applies electrical shocks directly to the heart six times with no result. The surgeon declares Marina dead and says he'll keep her on the bypass long enough for Esteban to say goodbye. House can't let go of the fact that a perfectly normal appearing heart just stopped beating and won't start.

Foreman is packing and Cameron brings him a present and a hug. The present is a framed copy of a medical journal table of contents with Foreman's article highlighted. Cameron tells him she'll miss him, though she doubts he'll miss her. Foreman says on the contrary he will miss her and they share that hug. House enters and asks if he can have a hug, too? He tells them both of Marina's status. They quarrel over whether it's time to tell Esteban that Marina's is dead. House refuses to declare Marina dead until he can figure out why her heart stopped.

Chase sits eating lunch in a dim café when Cameron joins him. Chase says he's OK with leaving and apologizes for the whole Tuesday thing. He says getting this job was the best thing that ever happened to him, but losing it will be good, too. I think he's almost convinced himself. Cameron says she'll miss him. Chase invites her out for a drink but Cameron demurs. No hug for him, Chase takes another big bite of sandwich. Pace, Joe Schmidt fans. It looks like pastrami.

Esteban sits alone in a room, holding a flower and thinking about his wife.

House sits alone in his darkened office and stares at the symptoms board, when Cuddy comes in and asks him when he's going to declare Marina dead. House says he hasn't taken her off the bypass yet because, since he doesn't know what went wrong, he can't be sure he can't fix it. Cuddy accuses him of caring about the patient and her husband, which House denies. Which I might be able to believe if it wasn't for that one magic moment weeks ago, when the unborn fetus held his finger, and time stood still. Cuddy tells him he's done all he can do, it's time to let go.

Esteban the skeptic is praying in the hospital chapel. House comes to him and says he was told Esteban didn't believe in God. Esteban says he doesn't, but where his wife's concerned he'll do everything he can to fix her. "If I don't pray, then I don't do everything." House tells him it's not working, and she's not coming back : he can come down to the ICU to say goodbye before House takes her off bypass. Esteban sobs on House's shoulder.

House takes Esteban to say goodbye to his wife, as the machines whirl, pumping the life-blood through her body. Esteban talks to his unconscious wife, rubbing her arm nervously. "She seems like she's just sleeping, " he says, tears running down his cheeks. "She's not, we double checked," House says. Esteban nods, and House turns off the bypass machines. Esteban kisses Marina's forehead. He lays his head on Marina's chest, sobbing quietly. But then he straightens and says her heart is beating. "No," House tells him, "it's residual flow from the bypass." "No, I can feel it," Esteban insists. He guides House's hand to her throat and a quizzical look comes over House's face. It's another one of those magic moments.

House turns on the heart monitors, and there's a normal beat and blood pressure displayed. Marina weakly calls "Esteban", and House's only response is "Holy crap." Indeed.

"Is this heaven?" Marina asks. "No, it's New Jersey," House says. "God sent you back to me," the unbeliever Esteban says, then looking at House "It's a miracle." House hates when that happens. He raises his eyes heavenwards and spread his hands in, in what?

Act 4

As Esteban feeds ice chips to Marina, House continues to stare at the White Board o' Symptoms in the diagnosis room. Hearts don't stop and start for no reason he declares. Apparently they do, Cameron says. Foreman is still here, and comes in and announces that three hours after coming off the bypass machines her heart still beats strongly and the her pain is gone. Now Foreman says Chase was probably right in his infection hypothesis. Cameron says ‘other than a miracle' it's the only explanation. House is miffed that God gets the credit when things go right, while he gets the blame when they go wrong. "What if it wasn't human error?" he asks, "What if it was God's error, a congenital defect?"

"None of our tests showed anything," Cameron says. "The one time we looked in her heart we stopped before we could see anything," House says. "Because it stopped." Foreman points out. House says they need to do another angiogram. That's going to be a tough sell, convincing the couple to repeat the test that, well, killed her. But that's what House strides off to do.

With trepidation they agree.

This time House conducts the catheterization, as Cameron and Foreman assist. Her blood pressure rises, and so does mine, and the doctors' but it's anxiety, not another heart stoppage. I notice they're back in the procedure room. Given what happened last time, mightn't you want to do this in an OR or the ICU? Well, I know I would, being a belt and suspenders sort of guy. They're not finding anything and the doctors squirm, which makes the patient squirm. Just in time, Cameron spots an abnormality, and House counts "One, Two, Three ostiums", or holes from the left to the right side of the heart, of which there are supposed to be two. House is happy, he has his reason, and assures Marina and Esteban, "Don't worry, just one more surgery and you'll be fine." Marina smiles. Esteban smiles back from the observation balcony.

Cameron visits Chase's apartment, declaring it Tuesday one day early. "I didn't feel like waiting." They kiss tenderly.

Wilson is talking to House in the break room when Foreman drops by to say goodbye. He tells House he appreciates the opportunity House gave him. House actually says he wants Foreman to stay, that Foreman is an important part of the team, and House needs him. Foreman and Wilson both hold their breath, waiting for the sky to fall, or the last trump to sound. But the magic moment doesn't last and they get into an argument over House's attitude and Foreman's motives. Wilson sighs, and House returns to his office.

There he finds Cameron is waiting with her letter of resignation. House gives her a baleful look with those blue eyes. "What do you expect me to do?" he asks, "Break down and apologize, "Ask Chase to come back?" "No", she says, smiling, "I expect you do what you always do. Try to make a joke, and go on. I expect you to be just fine." She gives his arm a squeeze. "I'll miss you." And with another smile she's gone.

House shares a cigar and a drink with Esteban. They're in Marina's room. "She looks great when she's sleeping," House says. "She is sleeping," Esteban responds, "I double checked." Esteban, commiserates over the loss of all House's people. "It's very hard to lose your people. You must be very upset." "Yeah, I must be." "But you're not." "I don't think I am. I think I'm… OK." "What are you going to do?" "God only knows."

House limps home to his lonely apartment. His number is 221 : I wonder if it's Baker Street? There's a package waiting for him. He takes it to the living room and opens it. It's a new guitar. House sits and strums it, alone in more ways than one.


Will the "House" show have a distinctly lightened payroll next fall? What about Honey, is she still in the running? And how about that medical student? We'll have to wait until September to find out.

- Cecil
Next Week:
"Reruns" No schedule announced : no more original shows until the fall.

Prev Episode: 3-23 The Jerk
Next Episode: 4-01 ?

Guest Cast Ep. 3-24, "Human Error" Aired 5/29/2007

Dr. Gooding _______________Stephen Markle
Esteban Hernandez__________Omar Avila
Marina Hernandez __________Mercedes Renard

Posted by Cecil on June 8, 2007 12:14 AM
Permalink |

Thanks for the great recap! I thought I had missed something(s), until I read your unanswered questions, so I am glad I am not the only person wondering how he got so famous people are risking their lives to see him, why they let the Cubans in the country. I gave up on the one about how the coast guard found them, that's just something that happens on TV...

-- 1. Posted by: FenwayBen at June 8, 2007 4:53 AM

I didn't even include "Why did her heart stop?" and "Why did her heart start?" as UQ's. I suppose the first can be accounted for by the defect, though the exact mechanism is unclear.

And why it would spontaneously start up again upon the deactivation of the bypass machinery, even though it wouldn't start after the six electrical shocks, is even more unclear. Was the bypass machinery supposed to have somehow been interacting with the defect to keep her heart from starting?

It seems to me if you're going to build a show around medical mysteries, making solving those mysteries a major part of the show, you might want to explain some of these biggies.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the review.

-- 2. Posted by: Cecil Rose at June 8, 2007 11:38 AM

It's a good read! I had the feeling all night that it was written as a two hour episode that was edited down to an hour. On Lost, we're used to those kind of unanswered questions, expecting that one day there will be a flashback or a discovery to explain it all, but I don't see House going that route. I really have no idea what route they are going with half the cast now no longer working at Princeton Plainsboro. I really hope we don't come back next season with everyone working there like nothing ever happened, or a simple offer to rehire everyone bringing them all back. Maybe Chase and Cameron can move to LA and join Private Practice?

-- 3. Posted by: FenwayBen at June 8, 2007 4:24 PM

Well, I'm confused, Cecil Rose. I would attribute that to not actually watching the show, but your recap is more than thorough (and very funny, thanks), so I’m sure that’s not the problem.

I have one more UQ: Why did her wrist snap? Congenital heart defects cause osteoporosis?? I'm sure it was just another red herring, but still very irritating.

I can contribute something to UQ #7. One of the major risks of heart/lung bypass is blood clots. The processing of the blood through the machine can actually damage the structure of red blood cells, making clots more likely. So, it's not an issue of forcing clots that were already there into the brain. The problem is that bypass can create clots, and the risk increases the longer you're on the machine. CPR wouldn't have the same risk, although it is not nearly as effective in pumping blood through the body, and obviously can't be sustained as long. That's why House didn't want to start bypass until absolutely necessary.

Just from reading the review (sorry, hope it doesn't annoy everyone that I don't actually watch the show and have the nerve to comment) I would agree with FenwayBen that it was possibly meant to be a 2-hour ep and was shortened. Unless there are always this many UQs?

Anyway, to (mis)quote someone from over at the Lost blog, I come here for Cecil Rose, not a forum thread! I do enjoy your writing style; keep up the good work.

-- 4. Posted by: Clementine at June 12, 2007 10:13 PM

Clementine, et al,

I have been collecting bookmarks on all the conditions that flash by in House episodes and thinking of publishing them in a blog entry for those that wanted to look for futher information.

But then in researching I discovered there's already a better source for a medical discussion of the issues on "House" and I'll just point you to him. It's a blog maintained by a young doctor, known there only as "Scott". He comments with extensive links on all the medical issues in each "House" episode. Not so much on the drama or relationships.
Check him out at:

By the way, he doesn't comment on why her wrist snapped, either, except to say that bone cancer is a likely cause of such pathological fractures, and that's why they charge down that particular wrong path. But, as to since it wasn't bone cancer, what the real cause of the weakness might be, he doesn't comment either. There is a whole list of possible causative factors on the "pathological fracture" link, but none seem to this laymman to be related to congenital heart defects.

Taking that link leads you into a UK based physician's desk reference sort of medical-encyclopedia-on-the-web where the medically inclined can wile away many fascinating hours.

-- 5. Posted by: Cecil Rose at June 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Thanks, Cecil, that's a great site. I bookmarked it, so I can peruse the other episodes another day.

-- 6. Posted by: Clementine at June 13, 2007 9:23 PM

hey there CR, any gossip on Season 4?

-- 7. Posted by: FenwayBen at July 1, 2007 7:24 PM

Fenway Ben,

Not much. Michael Ausiello over at TV Guide reports that House will have four new underlings next year, but that Drs. Chase, Foreman, and Cameron will also be back in some as yet unspecified capacity.


-- 8. Posted by: Cecil Rose at July 6, 2007 3:34 PM

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