Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
I also have been making a fuss for some time about the pointlessness
of having to use disposable instruments in general practice, but seem
powerless in the face of the infection control juggernaut. My patients too
are incredulous at the waste involved, but welcome the pack of used
instruments as a parting gift at the end of the procedure. They have many
potential DIY applications.
If we really believed that any preventable risk, however small,
should be prevented we would be paralysed by inactivity. The risk of a
patient being killed in a car accident on the way to the surgery is
greater than that of dying from a blood borne infection contracted from an
instrument sterilised in a primary care autoclave. Surely this is another
example of common sense being sacrificed on the altar of ignorant dogma.