Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 27 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1484

Pregnant women with false positive test results from serum screening are less likely to accept serum screening in a subsequent pregnancy (Journal of Medical Screening 2000;7:4-6). A close look at data on one US laboratory reporting system suggests that having a false positive result reduces the chances of subsequent serum screening by 64%.

Alcohol impedes driving performance. So does marijuana. When they are taken together, the effect is dramatic (Annals of Emergency Medicine 2000;35:398-9). Volunteers who were tested in real traffic after moderate doses of marijuana (smoked) and alcohol took 6.5 seconds to think about applying the brakes when confronted with an obstacle, increasing their stopping distance by about 140 feet. They were accompanied by an instructor with dual controls.

Over 15 000 people had to be contacted after an investigative health inspector traced an outbreak of hepatitis B to one electroencephalograph technician in Toronto (Canadian Medical Association Journal 2000; 162:1127-31). A total of 75 patients caught the virus between 1991 and 1996 following electroencephalography by the technician, who used reusable subdermal electrodes. Poor sterilisation procedures contributed to the outbreak, which is the first one reported in this healthcare setting. …

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