Hamman: The man, the sound (crunch)

Some names crop up repeatedly, without their necessarily being any connection other than the name itself. A case in point, in the medical world, is HAMMAN. The Associated Press reports today about the adventures of William Hamman:

As a cardiologist and United Airlines captain, William Hamman taught doctors and pilots ways to keep hearts and planes from crashing. He shared millions in grants, had university and hospital posts, and bragged of work for prestigious medical groups… But it turns out Hamman isn’t a cardiologist or even a doctor. The AP found he had no medical residency, fellowship, doctoral degree or the 15 years of clinical experience he claimed. He attended medical school for a few years but withdrew and didn’t graduate….

Hamman’s Sign is (in the stirring words of wikipedia) “a crunching, rasping sound, synchronous with the heartbeat, heard over the precordium in spontaneous mediastinal emphysema.” Reportedly named after a genuine doctor whose first name is Louis, it appears here and there in the medical literature, sometimes called by a slightly different, though still fully Hamman’ed name:

Hamman’s crunch: an adventitious sound,” R.K. Collins, Journal of Family Practice, 1994 Mar;38(3):284-6.

“Hamman’s crunch of pneumomediastinum is an unusual, adventitious sound heard on auscultation of the chest. Its rarity and dramatic nature frequently result in an expensive evaluation and hospitalization. Once recognized, it can be managed on an outpatient basis with serial chest radiographs to resolution of the pneumomediastinum or pneumothorax.”

William Hammond, the gentleman who is reportedly a fraudulent doctor, has in the past listed himself as;

William Hamman M.D., PhD
Captain United Airlines
Co-Director College of Aviation
Center of Excellence for Simulation Research – Western Michigan University