Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7082.762 (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:762

Atrial fibrillation is usually thought to be due to multiple circulating re-entrant wavelets, but in a few patients the electrocardiogram shows evidence of a focal source of rapidly firing activity (Circulation 1997;95:572-6). In such cases the atrial fibrillation can be eliminated by localised application of radiofrequency energy.

Laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy has become widely used since its introduction in 1989: it has obvious advantages in reducing the length of hospital stay and the need for postoperative analgesia. The anxiety is that serious complications may be more common (Medical Journal of Australia 1997;166:172-3). The urinary tract has been injured in as many as 4.8% of patients in some series. The rate is, however, much lower when the procedure is carried out by “skilled gynaecological laparoscopists.” A familiar story.

A self diagnosis of sensitivity to electricity is being made by increasing numbers of people in Sweden who believe their health is affected by visual display terminals, fluorescent lights, and television sets. A study in Umea (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1997;39:15-22) concluded that one possible explanation is that these people are upset by flickering light: it found some evidence of “a higher amplitude of brain cortical responses to flickering light in those patients complaining of electrical hypersensitivity.” …

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