In brief

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 18 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d336

Single rooms in intensive care halve infection rate: Rates of acquisition of Clostridium difficile, vancomycin resistant enterococcus species, and meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an intensive care unit fell by 54% (95% confidence interval 29% to 70%) after it was converted from a multibed ward to single rooms, shows a study (Archives of Internal Medicine 2011;171:32-8, doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.469).

Medical aid teams treat those injured in Ivory Coast: Surgical teams from the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières have treated 63 people wounded in clashes that have erupted since early January in Duékoué in western Ivory Coast. The United Nations says that 247 people were reported to have been killed in the country since the beginning of violence sparked by the political and security crisis.

German universities get €5.5m for research into diseases of ageing: Germany’s health and research ministries have announced funding of €5.5bn (£4.6bn; $7.3bn) over the next four years for research in six “action fields,” focusing on diseases likely to strike Germany’s rapidly ageing population in coming years. Research will be grouped around six university based centres for medical research, with each centre affiliated with around six other universities.

FDA limits amount of paracetamol in pills to reduce liver injury: The US Food and Drug Administration has asked drug manufacturers to limit the amount of paracetamol (acetaminophen in the US) in prescription products to 325 mg per pill, tablet, or other unit. Patients should be told to take no more than 4 g of paracetamol a day. The US has an estimated 1600 cases of acute liver failure every year, paracetamol overdose being the chief cause.

NICE recommends patch for use on the NHS to treat Alzheimer’s: The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said that the rivastigmine (Exelon) patch made by Novartis can be used on the NHS to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It is just as cost effective as the pills and is better tolerated, reduces the pill burden for patients, and reassures carers that patients are taking their treatment, NICE says.

Research centre will bring battlefield care to the NHS: The National Institute for Health Research Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology was launched at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham on 18 January. Trauma surgeons and scientists working in the area will be brought together to translate innovation in medical research and advanced clinical practice in battlefield medicine into benefits for all NHS patients at an early stage of injury.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d336

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