In brief

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 02 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6650

Cases of S marcescens closed neonatal unit for two weeks: Two premature babies died and a third is still in isolation after an outbreak of the enterobacterium Serratia marcescens at the neonatal intensive care unit at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, the trust said last week. The infection shut the unit to new admissions for two weeks in July. Four other premature babies were also infected but recovered.

Time limit on alteplase for stroke is extended: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued final guidance on the use of alteplase for the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke. The drug can now be used up to 4.5 hours after the onset of the symptoms of an ischaemic stroke and after intracranial haemorrhage has been excluded—up from the previous three hour limit—after a change in the drug’s licence.

Public does not support cancer drug fund: Nearly two thirds (64%) of 4000 people surveyed in England, Wales, and Scotland by researchers from Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation do not support providing more money to pay for anticancer drugs over drugs for other equally serious conditions. Welsh Conservatives have called on the public there to sign a petition for a cancer drugs fund similar to the £200m one that operates in England.

Smokers get extra help to quit in October: Smokers in England are being given extra support to quit for 28 days through the Department of Health’s “Stoptober” campaign. People joining the campaign get a support pack, an online and smartphone app, and a 28 day text support service. Research shows that people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times as likely to stay smoke free.

Rotary commits $75m to end polio: Rotary International has contributed $75m over three years to the global polio eradication initiative as part of an effort to close a $945m funding gap that threatens to derail the 24 year old effort to rid the world of the disease. Although fewer than 140 cases of polio in the world have been reported this year, the funding shortfall has affected several scheduled immunisation activities in countries affected by polio. If polio rebounds, up to 200 000 children a year could be paralysed.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6650

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