Protecting Sight #296: How ventilators work. Life lessons from one year of COVID-19, anticipation & prevention. Alexia without agraphia & the art of the memoir.

Welcome to my daily learning journal. My daily goal is to watch one Ted Talk and one cataract surgery. I also plan to read one journal article and read/listen to a book chapter, podcast, or significant work.

Here is today’s list:

1. Ted Talk – Alex Gendler: How do ventilators work? “In the 16th century, physician Andreas Vesalius described how a suffocating animal could be kept alive by inserting a tube into its trachea and blowing air to inflate its lungs. Today, Vesalius’s treatise is recognized as the first description of mechanical ventilation— a crucial practice in modern medicine. So how do our modern ventilators work? Alex Gendler explains the life-saving technology. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].” (

2A. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – 1064: lessons from 1 year of COVID-10.

2B. Richard Mackool MD – Episode 31: Anticipation and Prevention. Dr. Mackool writes, “This is a routine case during which I discuss anticipation and prevention of problems caused by patient coughing, infusion misdirection syndrome, and finally the intracameral antibiotic controversy.”

3. Andrew Lee MD – Alexia without agraphia.

Dr. Lee’s 450+ neuro-ophthalmology reviews are around 5 minutes each. Perfect for the busy clinician & trainee. I plan to watch one a day, from oldest to newest.

4. William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. Chapter 14, “Writing About Yourself: The Memoir.”

Zinsser writes, “The best gift you have to offer when you write personal history is the gift of yourself. Give yourself permission to write about yourself, and have a good time doing it.” The examples in this chapter will lead you to many wonderful memoirs.

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