Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 22 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:250

It takes almost six months to produce a Christmas BMJ, and we've already made a start. The pages fill up fast, so anyone wanting to contribute should make sure their article gets to the BMJ office by the end of August. We like to get the content sorted out by September so we can spend October, November, and December fighting over what to put on the cover.

Intensive care staff in one UK hospital were alarmed when a man who was brain dead seemed to trigger his ventilator (Anaesthesia 2000;55:676-84). Plans for organ donation were cancelled, and he died soon after extubation without making any respiratory effort. The ventilator, a sophisticated Drager Evita 2 model, was so sensitive that the thoracic pressure changes produced by his beating heart were enough to trigger a breath, mimicking inspiratory effort by the patient. Doctors reporting the incident warn others not to be fooled by ultrasensitive pressure transducers.

British tourists seem to be more vulnerable to travellers' diarrhoea than tourists from other parts of north west Europe or the United States (Lancet 2000;356:133-4). They are more likely to get diarrhoea than other tourists even when staying at the same destinations, in the same hotels, and eating the same food. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia …

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