BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7162.894 (Published 26 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:894

The editor of Foot and Ankle International, presumably an orthopaedic surgeon, urges frantic doctors to schedule more time for play (1998;19:423-4). Playing can mean anything, he says, and doing it adds balance to life, restores excitement, and leaves you refreshed. He suggests writing down a list of potential play time activities as inspiration and adds that handing it out to friends and relatives helps them find the right gift at Christmas. His list includes kayaking, woodcarving, and Zen philosophy.

There is still debate over the extent to which clinical decisions are based on good evidence. An audit of decisions made by three general medical teams in a teaching hospital in Canada found that about two thirds were backed up by evidence from controlled trials (Archives of Internal Medicine1998;158:1665-8). Only 10 out of 150 decisions were found to be suboptimal when compared with the best available evidence.

Latex allergy sounds trivial but it can be very hazardous for patients having surgery. Surgeons in Florida relate the precautions they took to protect a 13 year old boy during a heart transplant operation (Anesthesia and Analgesia1998;87:304-5). They used glass syringes, latex free gloves, special nasogastric tubes and urinary catheters, and a latex free blood pressure cuff. All …

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