Evidence
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The heart failure drug levosimendan doesn’t improve outcomes in adults with severe infections

Septic shock is a life-threatening condition resulting from serious infection. Adding levosimendan to the usual care of adults with septic shock did not reduce the risk of death up to 28 days, nor the degree of damage to essential body organs. It probably also increased patients’ risk of abnormally fast heart rate and increased the ...

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Assisted reproduction using donated eggs has higher risk of complications for mothers and babies

Assisted reproduction with donated eggs carries about double the chance of some risks for mothers and babies when compared to pregnancies from natural conceptions or assisted reproduction using the woman’s own eggs. These risks include high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, low birthweight and a higher risk of caesarean section. In multiple pregnancies, high ...

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Extended hours in primary care linked to reductions in minor A&E attendances

Practices which offered additional appointments showed a reduction in the number of their patients attending emergency departments (also known as A&E) for minor conditions. There was no overall reduction in emergency visits. Costs were reduced for emergency departments but by less than the cost of the additional appointments. The study did not evaluate whether or ...

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Supplementary feeding of preterm babies by cup rather than bottle helps breastfeeding success

For women who chose to breastfeed their preterm baby, supplementary feeds with a cup, compared with a bottle, led to improved breastfeeding rates at discharge and up to six months later. Preterm babies who are transitioning from being tube fed to breastfeeds have traditionally been given bottle feeds (of breast milk or formula) to supplement ...

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Cement injections to treat spinal compression fractures from osteoporosis can reduce short term pain

Injecting cement into osteoporotic spinal fractures within six weeks reduces pain in the first few months and disability six months later. The trial was undertaken in people aged over 60 years and compared the one-off injection to a simulated dummy procedure. The procedure, called vertebroplasty, aims to stabilise the collapsed vertebra and prevent further collapse. ...

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Surgical clot removal within seven hours of stroke improves function

For ischaemic stroke caused by a blood clot, early surgical clot removal alongside medical treatment improves functional outcomes at three months compared with medical treatment alone. Urgent stroke treatment is known to improve outcomes. Endovascular thrombectomy is a relatively new technique to mechanically remove the clot, where this is possible. Uncertainty over the optimal timing ...

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Young people often have negative views of sex and relationship education

Sex and relationship education in schools is intended to safeguard children from harmful relationships and promote sexual health. This review of 55 qualitative studies, mainly from the UK, suggests the classes do neither and may be failing to prepare, protect or engage young people. Most studies covered secondary school sex and relationship education for pupils ...

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Vitamin D supplements can reduce risk of asthma attacks

People with mild to moderate asthma experience fewer severe asthma attacks if they take vitamin D supplements. This review found that the average number of asthma attacks was equivalent to about one every four years in those taking vitamin D, compared to nearly one every two years in those taking a placebo. Half as many ...

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Self-testing kits for HPV could be a useful option to tackle low cervical screening rates in young women

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) self-sampling kits and the opportunity to book appointments had the largest effect in improving cervical screening uptake for those not responding to initial prompts. However, uptake improved only slightly from 27% to 30%, when the kit was sent. A survey of non-attenders showed they value the convenience and privacy of self-testing. ...

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Behavioural and drug treatment together help those with lung disease stop smoking

Smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) given drug treatment alongside behavioural therapy were more than twice as likely to stop smoking by six months as those given behavioural treatment alone. There was also some evidence that high intensity behavioural treatment is more effective than usual care or lower intensity therapy. This review identified a ...

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