Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 25 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:862

Women in Detroit can now get more than hot rollers and highlights at their weekly trip to the hair salon. In a campaign to cut high rates of hypertension, diabetes, and renal disease among the city's African-Americans, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is teaching stylists to spot suspicious symptoms and encourage their clients to see a doctor (Detroit News, 9 September 1999) The scheme could go nationwide if it is successful, although it's still unclear how women will respond to being probed about their health while trapped under a hair dryer.

The helicopter ambulance in Tromsø, a rural area in north Norway, takes about 20 minutes to get airborne after an emergency call. Emergency medicine specialists estimate, however, that speeding up the take off would make little difference to the patients (Prehospital Immediate Care 1999;3:136-9). An expert panel reviewed 65 cases over two years—51 deaths and 14 survivors with ongoing problems—and concluded that shortening the response time by 15 minutes would have improved the outcome in only two patients; a 6% increase in life years gained across the board.

Electroconvulsive therapy has been around longer than the randomised controlled trial, …

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