During a chat at the recent MACRO launch (see earlier post for details), Fifth Sense founder Duncan Boak learned about a book from 1961, which featured a write-up of a patient’s perspective on post-traumatic olfactory loss in one of the appendices.
Martin Burton, Joint Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane ENT Disorder Group, had come across the book and shared the details with Duncan. Cochrane are responsible for Cochrane Reviews, which are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy. These are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. The group investigates the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Martin found that the information in the appendix was part of a script from a story broadcast by BBC World Service in October 1959, featured in the programme “Two of a Kind” in an episode called “Fragrant Memories.”
There were two contributions to the episode: ‘Lost Bouquets’ by Brian Elliott and ‘Nose to the Ground’ by Raymond Legge, and it’s Brian Elliott’s story which appears in the first edition of the book written by consultant neurosurgeon, John M. Potter: The Practical Management of Head Injuries. (London: Lloyd-Luke (Medical Books) Ltd.; 1961).
Martin has also learned that John Potter worked as Consultant Neurosurgeon to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and later became the Director of Postgraduate Medical Education and Training, University of Oxford as well as a lecturer and Fellow.
In the preface to the fourth edition (published in 1984), he stated: “In case readers may not sufficiently appreciate the loss that traumatic anosmia may inflict on nose-sensitive people, I have again included, as Appendix I, Brian Elliott’s moving account, with his permission and that of the BBC.”
Cochrane have done some investigating on behalf of Fifth Sense, and discovered that the copyright has expired. This means we’re able to publish a scanned copy of the script to our website. We think this will be of interest not only to those with PTOL, but anyone with anosmia or who would like to understand it a bit more.
Click here to download a scanned copy of the relevant sections of the book.
Let us know if you’ve read it and what you think – is it reflective of having PTOL today? Email us at email@example.com and tell us what you think.