What would you have died of?

Recently on Twitter:

Int’l House of Bathos (@ambernoelle)Let us now praise modern medicine: dear macabre Twitter, how would you for fairly certain have died by now without it? Cause of death, go.

Guaranteed to produce many reasons to appreciate modern medicine!

I said: “Prematurity. My twin and I would probably have died within a few days of birth.” (And our survival isn’t even due to modern-modern medicine, either, since that was half a century ago. There are LOTS of VERY premature babies saved today that would have died for sure fifty years ago.)

Other answers, in case you are curious:

Sepsis from infection

MRSA from biting nails (really!)

MRSA from shaving legs (!!!!@!?!!)

Rh antibodies

Blood clots



Rabies (!)

Congenital heart defect



Major allergic reaction to cinnamon

Cobra bite

… Isn’t this fascinating? Anybody see the cobra bite coming? Or rabies? If you took 100 people at random in the county where you live, I wonder how many would be dead without modern medicine? Three cheers for the germ theory of disease plus all the other medical developments since, oh, the 1850s or so.

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7 thoughts on “What would you have died of?”

  1. Huh.

    Maybe from one of the things I took antibiotics for? Who knows?

    Both my operations were for things that probably wouldn’t have killed me.

  2. Allan Shampine

    Boy, it’s often hard to say! Vaccines save a whole lot of people, for example, but you never know for sure for any particular person. IV drips I can personally speak for (not all that modern, but darned useful). Antibiotics are huge, of course. Cancer treatments have come a long way (got several friends who’ve lived with stage four cancer for many years). Antidepressants. Improved surgical procedures. Improved wound care. Medicine’s come a long way since the middle ages!

  3. Interesting to think about! Probably tetanus from stepping on a rusty nail, or staph infection that I got multiple times as a kid from bug bites on my hands.

  4. I’m feeling invulnerable. I had no idea so many people got staph infections from trivial things. Pretty sure I’ve never had a cut or bug bite get infected in my life.

    We could easily ask as well: what would cause you serious constant pain without modern medicine? Obviously lots of room for improvement there, but I am grateful for Exedrin to keep headaches under control and chiropractic care to keep my back issues generally dialed down from agony to discomfort (so far).

  5. Charlotte, yep, there’s a biggie all right. I’m taking a moment of silent appreciation that a third of all women are no longer dying in childbirth, or whatever insane proportion it used to be.

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