Evidence

Alerts

The latest important research summarised

Short summaries of the latest health research presented in plain English to promote use of research by all members of society.

Alert

Intravenous oxytocin reduces severe bleeding after vaginal delivery

Routine oxytocin injected directly into the bloodstream, rather than into the muscle, after birth results in fewer people suffering severe bleeding (postpartum haemorrhage). The overall rate of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) or side effects was similar between the groups, but the intravenous group had fewer severe haemorrhages, needed fewer blood transfusions and fewer admissions to high ...

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Routine use of a mechanical compression device is no better than manual chest compression in cardiac arrest

Compared with manual compression, mechanical chest compression does not improve survival rates after cardiac arrest. However, in situations where manual compression may be difficult, such as in a moving ambulance, mechanical compression may still be an option. Each minute that a person waits for treatment after a cardiac arrest can make a difference of up ...

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Steroids rapidly reduce children’s croup symptoms and shorten hospital stays

Corticosteroids reduce symptoms of croup in children within two hours and continue to do so for at least 24 hours. They also cut the amount of time children spend in hospital by 15 hours and reduce return visits or readmissions from about 20% to 10%. This Cochrane review assessed the effectiveness of corticosteroids such as ...

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Partial knee replacements may save costs compared with total knee replacements

Partial knee replacements, when performed by experienced surgeons, can save costs and improve quality of life compared with total knee replacements. Partial replacements for selected patients improve quality of life and save between £600 and £2,000 over the patient’s lifetime, depending on age and gender. Knee replacements are commonly performed for people with ongoing pain and ...

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Telemedicine programme can prolong life for heart failure patients

A comprehensive programme of daily telemedicine monitoring and 24-hour access to a physician-led hotline can reduce the number of deaths and the time spent in hospital, among patients with heart failure. A year-long study of 1,571 patients who had been admitted to hospital with heart failure within the past 12 months found that those assigned ...

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Insulin pumps offer little value over multiple injections for children at the onset of diabetes

Young people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes achieve similar blood glucose control by 12 months if they are treated with multiple daily insulin injections or continuously via an insulin pump. Adverse events are rare and occur at similar rates. Pumps are more expensive with no clear benefit to quality of life. Both regimens are used ...

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Joint infection after hip replacement is linked to some risk factors that could be modified

Ten years of National Joint Registry data show that many factors may increase the risk of joint infection following hip replacement. Less than 1 in 1,000 people on average needed revision surgery for infection per year. Several modifiable patient factors increased risk, such as obesity and diabetes. Using ceramic components, and approaching surgery from the ...

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Cognitive behavioural therapy may not work for people with schizophrenia who haven’t completely responded to drug treatment

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) does not improve residual symptoms for people taking clozapine for schizophrenia. Clozapine is the gold-standard antipsychotic that is used when others have not worked. This NIHR-funded UK trial included 487 adults who had been taking clozapine for on average five years but were still symptomatic. Participants received either weekly CBT for ...

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Delirium is common among adults receiving palliative care and could be better recognised

Between a quarter and two-thirds of adults admitted to specialist palliative care units experience delirium, or acute confusion. The findings come from a mixed methods project which included a systematic review of the number of people living with delirium. Estimates are mostly applicable to older adults with advanced cancer. The project also included interviews with ...

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Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for women is unlikely to be a fair use of NHS resources

Nearly 4,000 women would need screening to prevent one death, and a third of aneurysms detected wouldn’t have influenced the individual woman's health or lifespan. Aneurysm rupture is a life-threatening emergency with low survival. Men are known to be at higher risk of an aneurysm and are offered screening at age 65 to allow early ...

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