Minerva

Minerva . . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k986 (Published 08 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k986

Use a ruler

The ABCDE system—a mnemonic for asymmetry, border, colour, diameter, and evolution—is a well established way to evaluate suspicious skin lesions. A survey from North America finds that, when it comes to assessing diameter, it’s much better to use a ruler to measure the lesion than to hazard a guess (JAMA Dermatol doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5083). Although dermatologists were more accurate than medical students or non-specialists in estimating lesion size by eye, they managed to judge only half the lesions to within 1 mm of their actual size.

Ventricular drains

Although the insertion of an external ventricular drain can be a lifesaving …

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