Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 10 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:374

Following the recent flurry of press interest in deep vein thrombosis after long haul flights, a kind reader sent in his paper from 1967 listing the passengers who presented to a local hospital after a flight into London airport (The Practitioner 1967;198:668-72). Only one of the 99 patients had a deep vein thrombosis, but he also had a patent foramen ovale and died from a cerebral embolus. Many of the others were simply exhausted by their “rengthy” six hour flight, or comatose from a combination of barbiturates and generous in-flight hospitality.

Minerva always thought that groin pain was a label used by pampered professional footballers to excuse them from their ludicrously overpaid day job. She may have to revise her opinion: an Australian study reports that players—and umpires—with groin pain have oedema of the pubic bone marrow, a finding consistent with osteitis pubis (British Journal of Sports Medicine 2001;35:28-33). The authors blame stress injury to the pubic symphisis for the symptoms and signs, which, they say, could be caused by the fast pace and rapid changes of direction in the Australian rules game.

Every now and then people in a deep coma are wrongly declared dead, and survive the experience. That this happened to a woman from Massachusetts who later woke …

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