Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7329.122 (Published 12 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:122

Patients undergoing surgery for broken hips are at risk of developing thromboses. Using thrombelastography (which records the changes in viscosity and elasticity of a sample of whole blood) surgeons found appreciable hypercoagulability in 250 patients, starting immediately after surgery and persisting at the six week review, even though heparin prophylaxis was used (Injury 2001;32:765-70). Since many patients go home well before six weeks, much longer lasting chemical antiplatelet therapy may be warranted.

Polygraph lie detectors rely on simultaneous blood pressure measurements, rates of breathing, and sweating. High definition thermal imaging of “concealed blushing” seems to work just as well (it picks up 75% of people guilty of lying and 90% of those innocent) and is easier and quicker to perform. Liars seem to give off a rapid thermal signature of warming around the eyes that can be detected without physical contact and analysed without expertise. The technology might be usefully incorporated at airport check-in desks (Nature 2002;415:35).

Patients sometimes get more than they bargained for when they're admitted to hospital. It's been suggested that on entering hospital each patient should be automatically warned about the 10% risk of nosocomial infections, because the consequences of not providing a warning might result in legal action on the issue of consent to treatment. …

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