BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7513.412 (Published 11 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:412

A randomised study of heparin with continuous passive motion administered by an Arthroflow device in trauma patients, compared with heparin alone, found the incidence of deep vein thrombosis was 25% in the heparin only group and 3.6% in patients who also had their feet passively extended and plantarflexed. No complications or compliance issues arose with the device (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Br) 2005;87-B: 1117-22).

Medical concerns over ear cleaning cotton buds were first reported in 1972. Of 1000 patients attending one ear, nose and throat clinic, 325 responded to a survey about their use of cotton buds. Fifty three per cent said they used them, but the frequency was the same in people who were attending the clinic with ear complaints as in those with nose and other problems. Twenty per cent of the respondents said they didn't believe that cotton buds cause infections, perforations, or wax impaction (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2005;98: 360-1).

A descriptive study of behavioural problems in older patients on acute care wards notes that most incidents that were documented in the neuropsychiatric inventory used in the study did not get into the patients' general charts. Chronic under-reporting may give a completely distorted view of the level of stress experienced by both patients and the staff looking after them …

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