Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 28 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1090

Nebulised adrenaline has proved useful in treating children with bronchiolitis and should theoretically be beneficial for children with acute asthma. Adrenaline was no better than salbutamol, however, in a trial in Canada of children attending an emergency department with mild to moderate acute asthma (Academic Emergency Medicine 2000;7:1097-103). Given salbutamol's safety record, the authors counsel that it should remain the drug of first choice.

Many people with multiple sclerosis use alternative and complementary treatments. Some are beneficial, most are harmless—but occasionally they cause havoc. A homoeopathic remedy containing lead gave one patient classic lead poisoning, which looked a lot like an exacerbation of his multiple sclerosis until suspicious neurologists measured his serum concentration of lead and found it was 10 times higher than normal (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2000;69:687-9). He felt much better after chelation therapy.

Sportsmen and sportswomen everywhere know that an ice pack can reduce the pain and swelling of a soft tissue injury. Not all of them know, however, that if it's left there too long, or applied directly to the skin, an ice pack can cause serious frostbite. A teacher of physical education learnt this lesson the hard way after …

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