MinervaBMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7099.68 (Published 05 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:68
One factor in the increase in the numbers of patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis is the poor quality of treatment—and its supervision—in the private sectors of countries of all levels of prosperity. An editorial in Chest (1997;111:1149-51) argues that the most effective solution is to persuade the manufacturers to remove from the market all single formulations of rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. Only combination products should be available for use.
Children with chronic renal insufficiency grow more slowly than normal, but this growth failure is now treatable. Long term studies have shown (Nephron 1997;76:125-9) that treatment with recombinant human growth hormone closes the gap in height and continues to do so while the treatment continues. Children treated for five years have shown no adverse effects.
Autologous blood transfusion ought to be entirely safe, but it has become so popular that the scale of the collection and distribution process makes errors inevitable. A study in Canada of 70 000 units collected (Transfusion 1997;37:523-7) showed that something went wrong in 279 cases: mostly late delivery of the blood to the operating theatre, blood sent to the wrong hospital, and so on. In one case a unit was transfused into the wrong recipient. Errors were …