Friday, January 21, 2005

The NHS and infection control standards

The subject of a paper in the Journal of Hospital Infection, which reports that older hospitals have difficulties in meeting standards, and describes the challenges faced.
National Institutes of Health plans for open access

The NIH had been planning to publish (US) nationally funded research on a publically accessible website within six months of publication. After concern (or pressure) from publishers, the NIH has extended this deadline to a year. Publishers were concerned about damage to their business. Read the report in the BMJ.
Report on allergy services

The House of Commons Select Committee on Health produced, in October 2004, a report on allergy services. The government has said it needs more evidence before deciding whether to implement that report's recommendations or not. The Select Committee has criticised that response. There are details of the discussion and links to the reports (and to a Royal College of Physicians report on the same subject)
in this week's BMJ.

Monday, January 17, 2005


The 15th January issue of the BMJ contains a paper on the Hajj and offers health care advice.
Unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan

A paper in the 15th January issue of the BMJ argues that this causes more injuries than landmines, and that children are more likely to be injured by the ordnance than the landmines.
Changes over time in incidence of autism - revised posting

A paper in
January's Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine argues that the incidence has increased due to a change in the way that autism is defined. We have password controlled access to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine: contact me if you can't see this password information page.

The BMJ reports the paper in a news item, and a debate is being pursued through its Rapid Responses.

I have just discovered a review in the latest Acta Paediatrica (Jan 2005, 2-15), by Michael Rutter, titled "Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning". It may well not refer to the research I mention above, but it looks worth reading. We have online access to this journal (although the January 2005 issue is not there yet...) - use the Leicester e-link to link to it.
WHO launches health recovery strategy for the Indian Ocean

See news item in 15th January's BMJ. There is also tsunami related information on the WHO home page.
Association between bronchodilator use and death from asthma

The subject of a study involving patients from 33 health authorities or boards and reported in the British Medical Journal of 15th January.
Tsunami - implications for library services

CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, is discussing this, and has a page of information at

The Clinical Sciences Library already has a link with Sri Lanka and I will monitor developments in the information world's response.
RAE 2008 Guidance to Panels

This has been published by HEFCE and the other RAE bodies. No action is necessary on the part of higher education institutions, but it might be worth a look.

The full text is available in PDF format at, with an executive summary at

Friday, January 14, 2005

Refuse trucks to carry defibrillators

The Guardian reports that bin lorries in south Staffordshire will carry defibrillators, so that the machines are available more quickly in rural areas. Staffordshire Moorlands council need to secure funding for the machines if their plans are to be realised.
Vampire saliva could help stroke patients

According to the Guardian, a German company is developing stroke treatments based on the saliva of vampires.
Improving GIS in the NHS

The EB-GIS4HEALTH UK programme aims to help the NHS understand the importance of spatial data in health care, and also to foster collaboration between the NHS and academia. The programme is the subject of a
paper in the open access International Journal of Health Geographics, by Maged Kamel Boulos of the University of Bath. (GIS = "Geographic Information System")

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Approval books

Clinical Sciences Library has a new collection of books on approval. You can view the books during office hours (unfortunately we cannot let them leave the library).

You should receive the list of books by email but if you have mislaid it, please let me know and I will email it again. Please pass any comments about the books to your Library rep, or to me.

Bacteria in deep hypersaline anoxic basins

Is the subject of a report by Paul van der Wielen and colleagues in Science (7th January 2005, p.1210 , looking at basins in the Mediterranean.

The abstract is available here but you do need to register first. (Registration is not the same as a subscription: you will not be able to see full text).
Kumar and Clark online

Can't find a copy of Kumar and Clark Clinical Medicine?

The Library has online access (on campus only) via Look for the box headed "University of Leicester" and click on "Enter...."
Taylor and Francis e journals

This year we have electronic access to virtually all their titles, around 1000 in all, in all subjects. Next year we will make a selection based on usage.

There is a subject listing at and we have access to everything except those titles with an asterisk. There are more details of each title in Taylor and Francis' A to Z listing at

Library gets online access to Nature journals

The University of Leicester Library has access to Nature online, via

You can access these titles:

Nature Biotechnology
Nature Cell Biology
Nature Genetics
Nature Immunology
Nature medicine
Nature neuroscience
Nature reviews cancer
Nature reviews drug discovery
Nature reviews genetics
Nature reviews immunology
Nature reviews molecular cell biology
Nature reviews neuroscience

Currently access is only possible on campus.
Is maternal use of household cleaning products linked to asthma in children?

Research from the University of Bristol, that looked at the use of household cleaning products by expectant mothers, and persistent wheezing in their children, reported in Thorax 2005; 60: 45-49.

Monday, January 10, 2005

New articles on Biomedcentral

Dynamic changes of serum SARS-Coronavirus IgG, pulmonary function and radiography in patients recovering from SARS after hospital discharge

Cough quality in children: a comparison of subjective vs. bronchoscopic findings

Blood pressure demographics: Nature or nurture ... ... genes or environment?

Sicily statement on evidence-based practice

All these papers are open access.
Tsunami update

Nature is reporting that there have been no major outbreaks of cholera among survivors of the tsunami, as was feared. But there are fears that respiratory diseases, especially pneumonia, may be a bigger threat.

Read the full item here.

Nature also reports that quick mass burials, as seen in Indonesia in the days following the tsunami, are not needed. Fears of health risks posed by bodies are unfounded, they report.

Read that full item here.

Kumar and Clark

We have access to the online version of this textbook. Access is IP controlled so will only work on campus. Go to We are allowed up to five concurrent users. If you find you can't access it, please let me know.

Friday, January 07, 2005

New open access journals from Public Library of Science

PLoS have already launched
PLoS Medicine and PLoS Biology, and are planning new titles in genetics, computational biology and pathogens. PLoS Computational Biology is accepting submissions: details in the press release.

Read their press release.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


The BMJ publishes this regular column, giving details of useful websites. The
1st January issue mentions Alan Cann's Virology Time Machine, and also a site on plagiarism, from Drexel University, Philadelphia.
Incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis during 18 years of vaccine use

Is the subject of a paper in the 1st January issue of the BMJ. The study is from Helsinki.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Canadian Medical Association Journal

Two articles from the latest issue:

Countries ill-prepared for influenza epidemic

Invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated children in Canada, 2001–2003

CMAJ is an open access journal, so these are frely accessible to all.
Tsunami related resources

Here are some health related resources which might help anyone you know working in those areas affected by the terrible events of December 26th. Please share them if you know anyone who can use them.

Tsunami update from SciDev.Net. Links to news and features, and also to a Nature page detailing ways to help. The page is headed with the famous Hokkusai tidal wave picture, which I have always liked as a representation of the power of the sea. But it now seems all too real, and not just a dramatic picture.

HealthNet, from Satellife. The Satellife home page links to information on health concerns in disaster relief, and also to a list of organisations and information on how to help. Satellife is developing ways to provide information to health professionals in information poor areas of the world.

There is also information on the DFID site, and on a page on Google, and on

Nucleic Acids Research

This journal, now open access, is available through PubMed Central.
Transport Direct

This is a publically funded site which will help plan journeys by public transport (or car). I have just tested it to see if it can get from my house to my parent's, by train, and it looks good. It includes coaches and trains.

It can also help you get to and from the stations at the end of your route. Although it suggested getting from their station to their house (in the same town) by going by train to the next town, and taking the bus back, and then walking, its first alternative was to give me a map of a walking route.

It also gives traffic news.

Access Transport Direct.
New vaccine to be added to national immunisation programme

Government advisors are recommending that vaccines against bacterial meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia be added to the programme of vaccines given to babies. More information in the Guardian.