Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Tuesday 09 June 1998
A survey carried out for the British Heart Foundation found three-quarters believed that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage could alone save a patient's life and many said that was what they would do first. The foundation last week launched a pounds 1m appeal for defibrillators - machines that deliver an electric shock which is necessary to re-start the heart. Mouth-to-mouth and heart massage can keep the patient's blood oxygenated until the defibrillator arrives but it cannot restart the heart.
MANY couples seeking fertility treatment consult the league tables published by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which give pregnancy and live birth rate for each test tube baby clinic. But the information may be less useful than it seems. Experts who applied a new statistical technique to the data found only five of the 52 clinics could be confidently ranked in the top quarter and only one in the bottom quarter.
They say in the British Medical Journal that the high degree of uncertainty about the rankings suggests they should not be taken too seriously. The finding does not bode well for the Government's plans to include death rates in hospital league tables from next October.
A NEW medicine for high blood pressure and angina was withdrawn from sale around the world yesterday because of concern about the way it interacts with other drugs. Manufacturers Roche Products Ltd voluntarily decided to stop selling Posicor, which was launched last year and is marketed in 38 countries, including Britain.
Roche decided the complex precautions needed to avoid the drug interactions could not guarantee that patients would not be affected. The company said in a statement: "As patient well-being is of highest priority to Roche, the company has preferred to voluntarily withdraw the compound from all markets."
THE number of suicides in the Irish Republic increased by 14 per cent last year to a total of 433 - and included eight children between the ages of eight and 14, according to figures released yesterday.
Most of the deaths were among the young and middle-aged, and the vast majority, 355, were men. Earlier this year, a government-appointed task force that investigated the growing number of suicides recommended better training and education for doctors and health professionals in recognising and treating those at risk and urged improved psychological counselling in schools.
LESS than half of children do the recommended amount of exercise to stay fit and healthy, according to a survey published today. Children should spend at least 30 minutes a day and ideally seven hours a week in physical activity, but one in five does less than two hours a week.
The survey of 2,000 parents and their children carried out for Norwich Union Healthcare found that eight out of 10 parents think that physical exercise is as important as school work, but two in three believe children are less fit today than when they grew up.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga