In brief

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2416

Hospital admissions for liver disease more likely than overall admissions to result in death: One in 11 (8.8%) admissions to hospital for liver disease in England (3040 of 34 650) resulted in a death in hospital in 2012, show figures from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre. This is higher than the overall percentage of hospital admissions that resulted in a hospital death: about one in 72 admissions (210 170 of 15.2 million (1.4%)). Nearly half of admissions for liver disease admissions were for alcoholic liver disease.

Cost of clinical negligence claims is set to rise again: The UK government faces liabilities estimated at £17.5bn (€20.5bn; $26.8bn) for clinical negligence claims over errors that have already been made, says the document setting out all the government’s assets and liabilities in 2010-11. The provision in the Whole of Government Accounts was based on an assessment of individual incidents that have occurred, where the chances were more than 50% that the claim would succeed, and was up from £15.7bn the previous year.

Action plan could save lives of two million children a year: The World Health Organization and Unicef have launched a global action plan that they say could save the lives of two million children every year by closer integration of prevention and treatment of pneumonia and diarrhoea. By 2025, the plan says, 90% of all children should have access to antibiotics for pneumonia and oral rehydration salts for diarrhoea, up from current levels of 31% and 35% respectively; all children under 6 months should be exclusively breast fed, against a 2012 proportion of 39%; and all children should have access to improved sanitation and safe drinking water, from 63% and 89%, respectively.

Food poisoning caused 93 deaths in Europe in 2011: The joint annual zoonoses report, produced by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, says that there were 5648 foodborne outbreaks of zoonoses in the European Union in 2011.1 They affected 69 553 people and caused 93 deaths. Human infections from campylobacter and Escherichia coli rose, while salmonella cases fell for the seventh consecutive year.

Israel withdraws law on water fluoridation: Israel’s new health minister, Yael German, has signed regulations that would make it optional for local authorities to fluoridate drinking water. She repealed the 2002 law making fluoridation mandatory in all cities, towns, and settlements with at least 5000 residents. Although the ministry’s public health and dental experts have argued for years that fluoridation was safe and vital for reducing dental caries in children, after the minister’s opposition they said that money would be spent to educate parents on brushing with fluoride toothpaste and giving fluoride pills.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2416


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