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Marcus Welby, M.D.: All Flags Flying

Captain Rick Ballinger is an aging war hero determined to sail alone to the South Pacific. Dr. Welby discovers that Ballinger has pernicious anemia and warn the captain that such voyage would prove fatal. Ballinger, however, goes ahead with his plan, since it is essential to him to maintain an heroic facade to impress his son and young wife.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x5
Production Number: 30819
Airdate: Tuesday October 21st, 1969

Director: Don McDougall
Writer: Ken Trevey

Guest Stars
Alma PlattAlma Platt
As Little Old Lady
Andrew Johnson (6)Andrew Johnson (6)
As Lieutenant J.G. Coast Guard
Butch PatrickButch Patrick
As Sailor Ballinger
Dita NicoleDita Nicole
As Gunilla
Henry WilcoxonHenry Wilcoxon
As Captain Rick Ballinger
Ruta LeeRuta Lee
As Shirley Ballinger
Main Cast
Robert YoungRobert Young
As Dr. Marcus Welby
James BrolinJames Brolin
As Dr. Steven Kiley
Episode Notes
Pernicious anemia occurs when the body loses the ability to absorb sufficient quantities of a micro-nutrient, vitamin B-12. The cause is presently believed to be autoimmune attack on the parietal cells of the stomach, which destroys them. These cells secrete intrinsic factor, a chemical that binds to B-12 in the stomach. The intestine cannot absorb B-12 directly, but can absorb the B-12/IF complex. (This is also why patients who have had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass must take B-12 supplements for the remainder of their lives - the surgery sacrifices the part of the stomach that hosts these cells.) The body requires B-12 for nerve and brain health, and to help erythrocytes (red blood cells) mature properly; this anemia is characterized by excessive circulating immature erythrocytes, among other problems. Treatment involves regular injections of B-12, or more recently, oral supplements. In some cases, the autoimmune attack is against the intrinsic factor itself, making replacement of this factor with an oral supplement an unreliable approach.

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