Minerva

Importance of cough reflex after stroke and other stories . . .

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i862 (Published 17 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i862

Cough your lungs clear

“Our data lend support to the notion that strong cough protects from aspiration-related pneumonia” say investigators who examined the four week incidence of pneumonia in 72 patients after acute stroke (Thorax doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-207810). This exploratory secondary analysis of data from a trial of muscle training after stroke compared respiratory infection with measurements of peak cough flow using a pneumotachograph with full face mask. A well preserved cough reflex definitely matters.

Dangerous drugs: who’s in charge?

A few drugs disappear noisily, like thalidomide, but most slip away unnoticed once their harms become known. A literature search identified 462 medicinal products that were withdrawn from the market between 1953 and 2013, mostly because of hepatotoxicity (BMC Med doi:10.1186/s12916-016-0553-2). Fewer than 10% of these were …

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