BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6922.214 (Published 15 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:214

A biochemical frozen section is a rapid measurement of a hormone or metabolite during surgery. Measurement of the serum concentration of parathyroid hormone 10 minutes after removal of a single large parathyroid gland may show a reassuring fall (Surgery 1993;114:1019-23), and if it does the surgeon need not make any further exploration of the neck. This method proved reliable in a series of 63 patients undergoing parathyroidectomy.

Minerva has never been convinced that the market does a good job in making health care more efficient, and so she will continue to remind her readers that in the market driven United States the per capita expenditure on health - $2868 a year - is the highest in the world and far higher than that in neighbouring Canada - $1915 a year. And, says the New England Journal of Medicine (1993;329:2040), there is no clear difference in health outcomes. The higher cost is explained by administrative costs.

In three consecutive weeks last November no cases of measles were reported in the United States (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1993;42:925-6). Up until November only 277 cases had …

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