Korotkoff Sounds - The Improbable also Occurs

Abstract

Very few discoveries have had such a large impact on and relevance to clinical medicine as the noninvasive measurement of the diastolic blood pressure. A number of gifted physiologists and clinicians were ineffectively in search of a noninvasive method to determine the diastolic pressure. Nonetheless, the quantification of the diastolic BP was not achieved by any of these clinical or physiological researchers, but by an unlikely and unexpected figure: Nikolai Sergeevich Korotkoff (1874-1920), a young Russian army surgeon, working under precarious conditions in the hardship of diverse wars. It is easy to dismiss the achievement of Korotkoff as a serendipitous discovery, similar to that of Alexander Fleming in the discovery of penicillin. However, Nassim N. Taleb's recent black swan theory may serve to illustrate his discovery in a new and, perhaps, surprising way.

DOI: 10.5935/abc.20130217

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Estaol2013KorotkoffS, title={Korotkoff Sounds - The Improbable also Occurs}, author={B Esta{\~n}ol and Guillermo J Ruiz Delgado and Johannes A. Borgstein}, booktitle={Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia}, year={2013} }