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On the beach

Not Neville Shute, but a winter break for Bandolier . Beach reading was a superb book on thinking about numbers, involving risk and diagnostic tests. We know that all of us have trouble with probabilities, and odds ratios, and sensitivity and specificity. Different strategies can help most of us overcome these problems. The book is reviewed in this issue, and will be of particular use to tutors for professional development plans. Bandolier will try to use some of these ideas in future.

On the net - help wanted

There is much new material here on the Bandolier Internet site, including several new resource centres: on aspirin , on needlestick injuries , and on handwashing and infections (in hospital, in healthcare, and in the community). We would like our readers to help in finding good evidence about these latter two topics in particular, because searching is difficult, and much appears in journals that are not in electronic databases. Please help us to help you.

Two new downloadable PDFs, a 22-page essay on acute pain , and another on how to calculate NNTs , plus a single page aide-memoir and calculator . In the first few weeks this has been downloaded several thousand times. We aim to produce more like this, for use in personal and professional development, and to support teachers. Bandolier would like to know of topics that readers would like to see covered, either specific to EBM, or on covering particular clinical issues.

Bandolier is updating reviews on topical products, particularly topical NSAIDs and rubefacients. What questions do you want answered in any new review? In primary care these seem to be issues that cause much angst, so let us know the issues ahead of time.

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