MinervaBMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7516.584 (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:584
If the NICE guidelines on the management of head injuries had been strictly adhered to in one Scottish children's hospital, 54 more children would have been wheeled off for computed tomography scans, rather than the eight who were. None of the unscanned children had clinical signs of intracranial injury, and they would have been exposed to a large amount of unnecessary ionising radiation (Emergency Medicine Journal 2005;22: 541-3).
Of the 81% of nearly 17 000 patients with breast cancer who were treated with radiotherapy at one French centre, 35 developed radiation induced sarcomas. The latency period ranged from 3.0 to 20.3 years. Most of the new tumours were found in the breast and chest wall, and about half of them were angiosarcomas. Fifteen patients died of their sarcomas, and the five year survival rate was 36%. Although radiation induced sarcomas are rare, the authors say the risk increases with time, warranting long term follow-up of irradiated patients (Cancer 2005;104: 856-63).
An advertising campaign launched Sid the Slug onto an unsuspecting UK public in 2004. Sid's mission—at an initial cost of around £4 million—was to encourage people not to add extra …