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BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7317.876 (Published 13 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:876

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, disability, and time off work. A systematic review of randomised surgical clinical trials for the syndrome concludes that standard open carpal tunnel release is still the preferred mode of treatment. Open surgery is as effective as endoscopic procedures but is technically less demanding, thus incurring fewer complications and avoiding extra costs (British Journal of Surgery 2001;88:1285-95).

The probiotic Lactobacillus GG is thought to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibacterial agents in children. A double blind, placebo controlled trial of Lactobacillus GG in 267 hospitalised adults receiving antibiotics found that 29% of patients in each group developed loose stools. β Lactam antibiotics were no different from non-β lactams. Children and adults may therefore have different gut flora or different diarrhoea inducing mechanisms (Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2001;76:883-9).

In San Francisco the two leading causes of childhood blindness are retinopathy of prematurity and cortical visual impairment. Both conditions arguably result from improved medical care and technology, which has allowed very premature or severely brain damaged children to survive. To call this iatrogenic disease may be too strong, but ethical issues are certainly raised. The British Journal of Ophthalmology …

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