Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 09 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c805

Ice and snow caused 17 000 injuries in one month in Holland: This winter Dutch hospital emergency departments dealt with around 500 cases a day of people injured through falling on snow or ice. Between 16 December and 15 January 17 000 patients, half aged over 55, were treated. Of these, 16% were admitted to hospital, costing an estimated €38m (£33m; $52m), said the Dutch consumer safety body (

Exposure of children in England to secondhand smoke has fallen: Exposure to household secondhand smoke among children aged 4-15 years fell by 59% between 1996 and 2006 (Addiction 2010;105:543-53, doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02805.x). The largest drop was between 2005 and 2006, a time of increased public debate and public information campaigns about secondhand smoke in the lead up to the 2007 implementation of legislation banning smoking in public spaces, the researchers found.

Medical television shows manage seizures incorrectly in half of cases: Seizures shown in television programmes, such as House and ER, were treated incorrectly in 49% of cases, investigators from Halifax, Canada, have found (Neurology, online 14 Feb, They urge the television industry to follow management guidelines to prevent viewers learning from inappropriate techniques.

GMC clears doctors: A surgeon and an anaesthetist who admitted a series of failures in treating a woman who developed septicaemia and died after an operation to remove a kidney stone have been found fit to practise by the General Medical Council. Consultant urological surgeon John Hines and consultant anaesthetist Paul Timmis had “unblemished” careers, apart from the single episode seven years ago that led to the death of Carmel Bloom, 54, the fitness to practise panel said.

Complaints against GPs rose by 11% in 2008-9: Statistics from the NHS Information Centre show that written complaints against NHS GPs and dentists in England rose from 43 942 in 2007-8 to 48 597 in 2008-9. From April 2008 to March 2009 there were 14 866 complaints about clinical care, 11 003 about poor communication or attitude, 7448 about general practices’ administration, and 6045 about surgery management.

Agencies start to tackle primary healthcare needs in Haiti: Attention in Haiti is moving away from trauma management to the primary health needs of displaced people living in about 250 temporary settlements, United Nations emergency relief officials said. About 91 healthcare facilities are functioning in the affected areas, including 59 in the capital. People are showing signs of mental trauma, and numbers of cases of tetanus and diarrhoea are rising.


Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c805

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