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  1. Jonathan Wyatt

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    Edited and coordinated by Jonathan Wyatt

    Dangers in the waiting room ▸

    The potential risk of cross infection via the traditional doctor's white coat has been well publicised. Just when white coats appear to have been largely phased out of use in A&E, a new potential risk has emerged in the form of soft toys. The authors of this study from New Zealand examined the bacterial contamination of toys in the waiting rooms of general practice surgeries. They found that, in contrast with “hard” toys, “soft” toys showed heavy contamination with coliforms and other bacteria. Considering their results in conjunction with the fact that soft toys are less easy to clean and disinfect, they recommend the withdrawal of soft toys from general practice waiting rooms. Perhaps it is also time for soft toys in A&E to go the same way as white coats . . .

    Risk of sudden infant death syndrome does not appear to be related to febrile convulsions in siblings ▸

    It has been previously hypothesised that there is an aetiological relation between sudden infant death syndrome and febrile convulsions. In a large and robust study of more than 30 000 children, the authors attempted to investigate this possible relation by comparing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in siblings of children who had suffered febrile convulsions with that of siblings of children who had never had febrile convulsions. They found no increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome in siblings of children who had previously suffered febrile convulsions.

    Subdural haemorrhage in infants ▸

    Young children all too …

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