- Rebecca Coombes, features editor
- 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR
A world record for HIV testing, a clinical trial to prevent thousands of child deaths in Africa, and a project to make safer cricket helmets scooped some of the top prizes at the BMJ Group Improving Health Awards 2012 last week.
The awards, now in their fourth year and sponsored by doctors’ insurer MDDUS, honoured those who have made outstanding contributions to improving healthcare in a dozen categories.
More than 500 guests and 45 finalists gathered at the London Hilton on Park Lane for the event, cohosted by BMJ editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, and actress Sally Phillips, who has appeared in Bridget Jones’ Diary and the BBC comedy Miranda. Phillips, who called the evening the “medical version of the Oscars,” mused on what the collective noun for a group of doctors was—a “diagnosis of doctors” was the audience’s consensus.
First up was the Research Paper of the Year award, which went to the FEAST trial. This studied over 3000 children with severe shock in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and found that giving fluid increased 48 hour mortality. The trial was stopped as soon as the risks became clear, and the findings should help avert thousands of deaths a year from the inappropriate use of fluid.
Professor Kathryn Maitland, one of the paper’s authors, said she had staked her “entire career” on the project: “We are very honoured to receive this award. The teams at the …