Views And Reviews


BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 15 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:482

A baseball enthusiast from Japan wired 20 high school pitchers to an electromyograph and simultaneously videoed them pitching (Karume Medical Journal 1998;45:21-5). In the legs he found that the adductors of the hip bore the brunt of the stress; he suggests that exercises to strengthen them should improve the stability of pitching and reduce injuries.

Recent data from English secondary schools fuel increasing worldwide concern over substance misuse in adolescents. Over four fifths of a sample of schoolchildren reported drinking alcohol regularly by the age of 16, and drinking was strongly linked to smoking and use of illegal drugs (Addiction 1998;93:1199-208). The findings are consistent with the idea that alcohol is a gateway to other misuses, say the authors. They suggest that antismoking and antidrugs campaigns should be targeted at children who drink.

A randomised controlled trial in Anesthesiology confirms that epidurals containing the opioid fentanyl do not harm babies (1998;89:79-85). Investigators were unable to detect any signs of respiratory depression in babies whose mothers had been given fentanyl, despite using highly sensitive transcutaneous measurements of blood gas tensions. This is good news for pregnant women who want a comfortable labour but don't want to lose the use of their legs for the …

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