The GMC’s study into prescription errors received plenty of coverage today. However, it seems the Telegraph , the Guardian and the Independent can’t agree on the figures – claims for the number of patients given incorrect prescriptions range from one in five to one in eight.
The Daily Mail leads with a focus on the elderly, claiming that 40% of patients over 75 on medication are affected by prescription errors. They include the extreme case study of a grandmother who “died of a nosebleed” due to over-prescription of warfarin.
If you thought computer games rot your brain, think again. The Telegraph reports that researchers have found that exercise and computer use can stave off memory problems in the elderly.
The study, which involved 926 over-70s, found that of the participants who did not exercise or use a computer, 20.1% were cognitively normal and 37.6% showed signs of mild cognitive impairment. Of those who did exercise and use a computer, 36% were cognitively normal and just 18.3% who showed signs of MCI.
The Telegraph also reports on a new method for screening for heart defects in babies. Researchers at Queen Mary University believe that pulse oximetry could detect another 200-300 cases of critical heart defects a year. The test takes only two minutes and requires a clip attached to the baby’s toe which measures oxygen levels in the blood.
Finally, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has proposed a hygiene rating system for tattoo parlours, similar to that used for restaurants. Unbelievably, this doesn’t already exist.