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Can we trust guidelines?
How can we trust clinical guidelines when so many of the members of the panels that produce them have financial conflicts of interest? That is the question that naturally follows from a study published in the BMJ. The study evaluated panel members of clinical practice guidelines released by national organisations in the USA and Canada between 2000 and 2010 that covered screening or treatment of hyperlipidaemia or diabetes for financial conflicts of interest. A staggering 52% of panel members had a conflict of interest, including some of the chairs and some that were undeclared. The accompanying editorial is written in an understandably scathing fashion about the current system (BMJ 2011;343:d5621 and d5728).
Closure of skin wounds
A review focusing on the closure of skin wounds will appeal particularly to less experienced practitioners. Written by three plastic surgeons, this paper summarises the basic principles of wound management and contains some simple but important practical tips (Br J Hosp Med (Lond) 2011;72:M162–5).
Concern about radiation exposure
There is an increasing tendency to use early and …