Pei Chia Eng and Dworakowska Dorota. Persistent fever in a young woman. J R Soc Med February 2014 107: 75–78, first published on December 13, 2013 doi: 10.1177/0141076813512819
Caris E Grimes and Robert HS Lane. Surgery and the global health agenda. J R Soc Med July 2013; 106: 256--258. DOI: 10.1177/0141076813476678.
This article describes and critically appraises clinical trials assessing misoprostol effectiveness in preventing primary postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) in home and community settings in low- and middle-income countries. Of 172 identified studies of misoprostol use in labour only six fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All trials used 600μg misoprostol in the intervention arm; three assessed misoprostol alongside components of active management of the third-stage labour (AMTSL), two used expectant management of labour and one allowed birth attendants to choose management practice. The three AMTSL studies showed no significant differences in PPH incidence or referral to higher centres and only one study showed significant decrease in severe PPH using misoprostol. One expectant management study and the choice of management by birth attendants study found significant decreases in PPH incidence with misoprostol. All studies showed significantly increased risk of shivering with misoprostol. Studies were biased by use of alternative uterotonics in the control arm, confounding management practices, and subjective assessment and, with one exception, exclusion of high-risk women. PPH incidence fell in both the control and intervention groups in both the landmark papers that informed the World Health Organization (WHO) decision to admit misoprostol to the Essential Medicines List. This suggests factors other than misoprostol use are crucial. Current evidence does not support misoprostol use in home and community settings in low- and middle-income countries for PPH prevention. WHO should rethink its recent decision to include misoprostol on the Essential Medicines List.
A variety of exotic vertebrate and invertebrate species are kept as ‘pets’ including fishes, amphibians (for example, frogs and toads), reptiles (turtles, crocodiles, lizards and snakes), birds, mammals (for example, primates, civets, and lions), and invertebrates (for example spiders, scorpions, and centipedes), and ownership of some of these animals is rising. Data for 2009–2011 suggest that the number of homes with reptiles rose by approximately 12.5%. Recent surveys, including only some of these animals, indicated that they might be present in around 18.6% of homes (equal to approximately 42 million animals of which around 40 million are indoor or outdoor fish). Many exotic ‘pets’ are capable of causing injury or poisoning to their keepers and some contacts prove fatal. We examined NHS Health Episode Statistics for England using selected formal categories for hospital admissions and bed days for 2004–2010 using the following categories of injury, envenomation or sting; bitten or struck by crocodile or alligator; bitten or crushed by other reptiles: contact with venomous snakes and lizards; contact with scorpions. Between 2004 and 2010 these data conservatively show a total of 760 full consultation episodes, 709 admissions and 2,121 hospital bed days were associated with injuries probably from exotic pets. Injuries, envenomations and stings from exotic pets constitute a small but important component of emerging medical problems. Greater awareness of relevant injuries and medical sequelae from exotic pet keeping may help medics formulate their clinical assessment and advice to patients.
It is now a recognized fact that the practice of conducting a consent (or hospital) post-mortem examination is in decline. There have been many reasons put forth to explain this demise, but the quality of the consenting process is frequently cited as having a high impact. This article focuses on consent practices for post-mortem examinations in England and Wales, and considers if our consent techniques are adversely affecting post-mortem examination uptake. We examine the regulatory compliance of trusts with their statutory obligations by analyzing the Human Tissue Authority's compliance and inspection reports. We further analyze 21 publicly available NHS Trust policies on post-mortem examination consent procedures, and consider whether these are fit for the purpose of meeting the dual needs of clinicians and the bereaved. Despite more Human Tissue Authority inspections, there is a disproportionate rise in enforcement actions, with up to 48% of sampled Trusts exhibiting shortcomings in their legal duties. Additionally, only 52.4% of sampled trusts follow the Human Tissue Authority best-practice model, with 23.8% having no documented procedures. Despite the well founded evidence base for best-practice models, consent practices for post-mortem examinations remains poor and is likely to have a gross adverse effect on the rate of post-mortem examinations. We recommend that NHS Trusts rigorously review their protocols and introduce a team-approach between clinicians and trained bereavement staff in core-consent teams, as the Human Tissue Authority suggests, whilst at the same time placing a strong emphasis on education for junior and senior colleagues alike.