In brief

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 12 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8417

Doctor held in UAE may soon be released: The lawyers for Cyril Karabus, the South African doctor accused of manslaughter over the death of a patient in the United Arab Emirates,1 are hopeful that he may soon be released. A hearing on 6 December was adjourned when the prosecution was still unable to produce the medical files relevant to the case, weeks after the defence requested them. The judge ordered another hearing on 13 December and told the prosecution that the situation “could not carry on” if the documents weren’t found.

Needlestick injuries are still a problem in NHS: The number of reports of needlestick injuries that exposed healthcare staff to bloodborne viruses was 541 in 2011, twice as many as in 2002, when 271 were reported, says a report from the Health Protection Agency.2 But these reports were only a fraction of needlestick injuries that would have occurred, it says. Between 2008 and 2011 there were five transmissions from patient to healthcare worker of hepatitis C virus in the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of these cases to 20.

GMC provides new helpline for advice on patient safety: The General Medical Council has launched a confidential helpline for doctors who want advice on patient safety issues and to raise serious concerns that they feel unable to report at a local level (0161 923 6399). It has also set up an online decision aid ( to help doctors report concerns about patient safety. The services follow the publication of new GMC guidance earlier this year, Raising and Acting on Concerns about Patient Safety.3

Cut price vaccines should be available to more agencies, says MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières has called for the GAVI Alliance to systematically extend the prices it gets for vaccines to other agencies, such as MSF, that are often well placed to reach unvaccinated children. In 2011 estimates indicated that 22.4 million babies were unvaccinated. But at the moment MSF has to negotiate access to vaccines on a cumbersome case by case basis, which can take months or fail altogether, it says.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8417