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Intensive Scares

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 21 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:454
  1. Rahul Rao, consultant/honarary senior lecturer in old age psychiatry and clinical tutor (
  1. Guy's Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry, London

    BBC 1, 14 to 28 August at 9 pm

    Rating: Embedded ImageEmbedded Image

    In the 21st century, media coverage faces tough challenges. As far back as the 1880s, the US newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst defined news as “anything that makes the reader say, ‘gee whiz!'” However, it is tempting for reporters to turn investigative reporting into lurid sensationalism, as they have tended to do in parts of this series.

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    Derek Unger has lost both legs through contracting MRSA

    Intensive Scares, a set of three weekly programmes, focuses on the clinical consequences of acute hospital care. The programmes have attempted to portray real-life experiences by letting people tell their own stories as much as possible. Any expert opinion is confined to a minimum, and only then within a clinical context.

    The first episode, “Heart Ache,” opened with the line “When you go into hospital for heart surgery, you don't expect to get brain damage.” It then looked at the day to day experiences of four people who had undergone heart …

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