BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6991.1420 (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1420

Trials have begun in India of a chemical alternative to vasectomy in which a polymer is injected into the vasa, where it acts on the sperm to make them infertile. The polymer is said to be removable to reverse the sterilisation (Nature Medicine 1995;1:292-3). The cost of the treatment is around $0.30 (20 p) for each injection—but the crucial question will be acceptability of sterilisation for men, which has never been popular in India.

A review in the “British Journal of Surgery” (1995;82:582-7) of the detrimental effects of perioperative blood transfusion shows how complex this topic is. The higher rates of infectious complications and of recurrences of cancer in transfused patients have been attributed to immunosuppression induced by the donated blood, but similar effects are seen after autologous blood transfusion. Attention is currently focused on the effects of storage of blood.

Follow up of children born to women who survived the Dutch “hunger winter” of 1944-5 (British Journal of Psychiatry 1995;166:601-6) has shown some curious results. It seems that those whose mothers were in the first trimester in the starvation winter proved later to be at increased risk of schizophrenia, while those whose mothers starved during the second trimester went on to be at increased risk …

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