22. Everything Was Flipped To The Other Side
In basic biology, we learn that the heart is primarily on the left side of the body, as well as the spleen and most of the liver, while the appendix is on the right side of the body. This is so that people will take note when they feel pain on certain sides of their body so that they can seek medical attention immediately. But SophistRS happened to come across a patient where what is taught about the heart ends up being completely wrong. This is definitely a rare disease, but everything seems to be working out for the patient.
“We learned to examine from the patient’s right, but in this case, the senior medical student in the room with me was at the patient’s right. I started auscultating the standard APTM spots for the heart, but I performed them from the *left* side. When I had concluded the exam, I said I heard normal heart sounds. The senior student told me that I had auscultated in the spots opposite of where I should have – he then performed them properly and looked puzzled when the heart sounds seemed displaced. It turned out the patient had dextrocardia!” Dextrocardia is a condition where the heart is present on the right side of the chest instead of the left.