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Electronic updates

This month Bandolier concentrates on some of the interesting evidence around surgery. Surgery is not an evidence-free zone, and there are many good systematic reviews of randomised trials, and other evidence for surgery and anaesthesia. What we have chosen is a bit eclectic, but it's what's tickled our fancy lately.

randomised trial of different forms of anaesthesia confirming Bandolier's suspicions that it does not make much difference to mortality, and confirming that a systematic review saying that different anaesthetic methods did make a difference was wrong. Policy was changed on the basis of an incorrect systematic review, emphasising that reviews have to get it right. We were also interested in information about our ageing population, and how we need to pull our socks up in making provision for more hip replacements .

As interesting is a study from Glasgow on the reading ability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. One patient in six would have trouble with patient education material, and 1 in 20 would not be able to read prescription labels. Patients with reading problems required three times as many outpatient appointments for the same clinical result. That was 7,000 extra outpatient visits just for Glasgow's rheumatoid arthritis outpatients.

Studies like that make one think. Helping folk who can't read is good for business, as well as just being a good thing to do.

Electronic updates

The Internet version of Bandolier has added much in the last month. In particular it has a brief review of studies on arthroscopy for osteoarthritic knees , promised in Bandolier 102 . It has a completed review of the evidence for the use of Lorenzo's oil for adrenoleukodystrophy and adrenomyeloneuropathy. And it begins to pull together evidence on mobile phones, magnetic fields and cancer .

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