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Needlestick injuries

Questions Bandolier receives from readers are many and varied. For many there is no simple and quick answer, and for others there is information available here on the Bandolier Internet site, or quickly available in the literature. This month Bandolier responds to readers' questions that needed a bit of digging.

Following an earlier article in the NICE report on anti-TNF agents for rheumatoid arthritis ( Bandolier 99 ), a junior doctor asked about evidence of efficacy in ankylosing spondylitis and other conditions. For ankylosing spondylitis the evidence seems to be mounting, with three relevant randomised trials and a review of all studies of any architecture to date. It is even possible to generate an NNT (of 2) for useful outcomes over about 12 to 16 weeks. Obviously more information is needed, but it looks promising.

Bandolier 103 reported on nursing levels and complications in ITU, prompting requests for more of the same. While there's not a huge literature, it was interesting to see a large study on nurse staffing levels and patient and nurse outcomes in Pennsylvania.

There are the common questions, often asked, like the level of use of retail analgesics in the community, and about the optimum INR level . And the uncommon, about links between an obscure preservative in cosmetics and household products and contact dermatitis. We found information on all three.

Needlestick injuries

A new feature here on the Bandolier Internet site is a section devoted to the evidence around needlestick injuries . Bandolier has scoured the literature, and has begun to summarise it. There is quite a lot known, and occasionally it has been pulled together. The bottom line so far is that it is a bigger problem than we realised, but with varying consequences and costs. Over the next few months the site will continue to grow.

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