New Helmet for Spleen Allows Mononucleosis Patients to Play Contact Sports

  • 314

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Athletes afflicted with infectious mononucleosis, a disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and sometimes marked by splenomegaly, will soon be able to participate in contact sports throughout the course of their illness. Long counseled to avoid physical activity due to the threat of a life-threatening splenic rupture, these patients will no longer be sidelined thanks to a technologically-advanced sports-medicine innovation: the splenic helmet—a hard, plastic helmet that fits snugly around the spleen.

The inventors of this ingenious, life-saving product were inspired by the success of the head helmet, which has virtually eliminated concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players [Ed. Note: Reminder to self—gotta fact-check this claim prior to publication]. With two simple intraabdominal surgical procedures—one for sizing/fitting of the spleen and one for installation of the splenic helmet (plus one more later on for removal of the helmet after resolution of the infection)—the athlete can safely return to the field. As he is pounded in the abdomen by a 300-pound lineman, he will be comforted by the fact that a hard helmet is encased around his spleen, protecting it from rupture.

“Not many people know this,” said Sam Darnold, quarterback of the New York Jets football squad, who missed 3 games in the fall of 2019 after being diagnosed with mononucleosis, “but I was the first person ever to have the splenic helmet inserted.” Darnold added that they planned to implant a special helmet painted Gotham green and emblazoned with the Jets logo, but he ultimately opted for a pink bicycle helmet covered in unicorns, thinking that would give him better luck.

Darnold had the splenic helmet installed within days of the mono diagnosis and would not have missed any games but for some unforeseen circumstances: his spleen ruptured! So much for the lucky unicorns! It turns out his spleen was not done enlarging, and with a fixed helmet surrounding it, the expanding organ had no room to grow, leading to its eventual bursting. Whoops!

Despite that small, utterly unpredictable setback, physicians and athletes are thrilled about the game-changing splenic helmet. Next up, designers of this product plan on inventing a brain helmet. “Even with the resounding success of the football helmet,” said the splenic helmet inventor, “we think we can do even better if we surgically place a helmet directly around the brain.”

“A helmet around the brain, huh? Why didn’t I think of that?” thought God, up in Heaven, as He tapped His skull.

  • Proton Pimp

    Adorned in a stylish white fur coat, ravishing purple silk suit and a dozen gold necklaces, I spend my nights lounging in luxury and delivering beautiful bursts of acidic commentary about those in the medical field who deserve it—which, let’s face it, is pretty much everybody. Some may be offended, but I simply can’t be stopped; that is, except by my mortal nemesis: the dreaded Proton Pimp Inhibitor. Until recently, that little purple shill very effectively blocked the release of my most acidic work. But no longer! In addition to my lavish lifestyle, I also enjoy reading romance novels, listening to hit songs by Toto on loop, and staring at my Betty White pin-up calendar. Follow him at @TheProtonP on Twitter!!

  • Show Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

main or

Norovirus and a Patient’s Oxygen Saturation of 33% Too Much for Anesthesiologist to Handle

229SharesBOSTON, MA – Norovirus is running rampant throughout the country this January and anesthesiologist ...


Ask a July 1st Medicine Intern

14.2KSharesDear July 1st Medicine Intern, I’ve been wheezing a little bit more over the ...

Extended Walk Test: Help Your Patients Discharge Themselves

540SharesTORONTO, ONTARIO – Dr. Thurow, veteran emergency physician at Tertiary Hospital has been credited ...

nasal cannula

Patient Placed on 4,000 Liters by Nasal Cannula

14.4KSharesSPOKANE, WA – Sometimes you have to think outside the box. That’s exactly what ...


Veterinarian Turfs German Shepherd to Hospital Medicine

1.4KSharesMINNEAPOLIS, MN – Hospitalists at Minnesota Healthcare suffered one more devastating blow this morning ...