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Research in an influenza pandemic
  1. Steve Goodacre1,
  2. Darren Walter2
  1. 1School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Emergency Department, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Steve Goodacre, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK; s.goodacre{at}sheffield.ac.uk

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The 2009 H1N1 (swine) influenza pandemic was preceded by alarming predictions of high numbers of emergency department attendances.1 In the event, the pandemic was mild and the official view is that the emergency care system coped with the modest increase in demand.2 The next pandemic may be much more severe, if modelling predictions are borne out, and so we should guard against complacency.

Patient management during a pandemic needs to be guided by high quality evidence.2 Although data can be extrapolated from other conditions and settings, there is no satisfactory substitute for data generated during a pandemic. However, this poses obvious problems, …

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