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Daily Digest 28 October 2009

Today's roundup - including a link between severe migraine and strokes, and the return of norovirus.

By Ian Quinn

Today's roundup - including a link between severe migraine and strokes, and the return of norovirus.

Patients who suffer severe migraine face a higher risk of stroke, report several of today's papers.

It follows research by a team at Harvard University, published in the British Medical Journal, which brings together findings from 25 different studies.

The researchers recommend GPs advise patients who suffer migraine with aura to try to change other factors which can increase the risk of stroke, such as smoking or using contraception containing oestrogen.

The Daily Mail follows up on Pulse's exclusive story that thanks to mountain of PCT red tape nearly half of GPs claim they are too busy to look patients in the eye

The Times carries a report claiming patients with terminal illness are being helped on their way by doctors practising a form of ‘slow euthanasia'.

A poll of almost 3,000 doctors, it says, finds almost one in five have administered drugs to keep patients unconscious for hours or even days at a time.

GPs who are not palliative care specialists were more likely to report using high doses of sedatives to keep patients asleep, it reports, following a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Little wonder then that the Daily Telegraph carries advice urging patients to stay away from their GPs altogether. It warns that a double whammy of swine flu and the norovirus - which always seems to turn up about the same time as the Christmas decorations go up - means practices will be swamped and says patients with minor illnesses are best staying at home.


The Independent continues its own peculiar strand of swine flu coverage, which has centred mainly on the Premier League. It reports the Health Protection Agency has issued a warning to all the nation's footballers to stop spitting, for fear it may help spread the disease and includes a most un-HPA-like quote from a spokeperson who was clearly spitting mad at their habits.

‘Spitting is disgusting at all times,' the spokesperson is quoted as saying. ‘It's unhygienic and unhealthy, particularly if you spit close to other people. Footballers, like the rest of us, wouldn't spit indoor so they shouldn't do it on the football pitch either.'

Motherly advice echoed by Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who claims he has uncovered the definitive cure for swine flu .

‘It's not a medical prescription,' he says. ‘It's my grandmother's prescription-hot milk. Alcohol-red wine. Fantastic.'

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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