Vitality

10 Medical Breakthroughs And Life-Saving Drugs Discovered By Accident, From Pap Smears To Laughing Gas

Accidents happen, but as history has taught us, some accidents are better than others. Recently, the YouTube channel All Time 10s put together a video outlining 10 of the most fortuitous medical discoveries that were uncovered completely by accident.

Medications that top the list of accidental medical marvels include the popular erectile dysfunction drug viagra, the blood thinner warfarin, and the antibiotic penicillin. All these medications either were created to address another problem, or, as in the case of penicillin, grew because an absent-minded scientist left a petri dish exposed on a countertop overnight. Either way, the accidents are truly noteworthy, as both penicillin and warfarin are both life-saving medications used by millions, and viagra, though not vital to one’s physical health, has played a major role in the emotional health of couples throughout the world.

pacemaker The pacemaker was a result of medical accident. Photo Courtesy of YouTube Screenshot

Other medical discoveries to make the list include the pap smear, which was discovered when a doctor studying changes in vaginal secretions during a woman’s menstrual cycle accidentally took a sample from a woman with cervical cancer. Along the same lines, according to All Time 10s, anesthetics, a drug named by the World Health Organization as one of the top “essential medicines,” was discovered by a scientists who just happened to breath in nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, when he had a toothache, and remarked on how the air soothed his pain.

In addition, the coronary angiography was literally discovered by a slip of the hand. Surgeon F. Mason Sones slipped while conducting a heart surgery one day and accidentally injected a large quantity of dye directly into the patient's heart. Sones discovered that not only did this not kill the patient, but it also allowed a more accurate way to view the heart.

To see the entire list of the “Top 10 Accidental Medical Discoveries” watch the video below.

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