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EBM Roundup - Devices and facebook vaccines

In the second of our EBM round-ups, Carl Heneghan, Helen Macdonald and Duncan Jarvies are joined by Deborah Cohen, investigative journalist and scourge of device manufacturers. We're giving our verdict on the sensitivity and specificity of ketone testing for hyperemesis, and the advice to drinking more water to prevent recurrent UTIs in...


Making multisectoral collaboration work

A new collection of articles published by The BMJ includes twelve country case studies, each an evaluation of multisectoral collaboration in action at scale on women’s, children’s, and adolescent’s health. Collectively these twelve studies inform an overarching synthesis and accompanying commentaries, drawing together lessons learned in...


Trojan Milk

Infant formula manufacturers were made pariah in the 70s, because of their marketing practices - this lead to “The Code”, adopted by the WHO, which set out clear guidelines about what those practices should be. Now an investigation on by Chris Van Tulleken, honorary senior lecturer at University College London, examines the practices...


The bone crushing nausea of hyperemesis

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affects around 70% of pregnancies. It is mild for around 40% of women, moderate for 46%, and severe for 14%. By contrast, hyperemesis gravidarum is a complication of pregnancy rather than a normal part of it and occurs in around 1.5% of pregnancies. The psychosocial burden of HG can be heavy for women and their...


God is in Operating Room 4

Healthy self confidence has an important role in surgery, but what came first - the surgeon or the ego? In this conversation, Christopher Myers, Yemeng Lu-Myers, and Amir Ghaferi join us to talk about the (very few) surgeons who behave badly in theatre, and why that behaviour has persisted, and can be detrimental. Read their full...


Carers need a voice in the NHS

Until recently, The BMJ had a campaign of patient partnership - now we have a patient and public partnership campaign. The reason for that change is that medicine has an effect beyond the individual being treated - and this podcast interview is a very good example of that. Anya De Iong, patient editor for The BMJ, talks to Christine Morgan -...


Acceptable, tolerable, manageable - but not to patients. How drug trials report harms.

You’ll have read in a clinical trial “Most patients had an acceptable adverse-event profile.” Or that a drug “has a manageable and mostly reversible safety profile.” And that “the tolerability was good overall.” In this podcast, Bishal Gyawali (@oncology_bg) joins us to describe what events those terms were actually describing in cancer drug...


Talk evidence - Vitamin D, Oxygen and ethics

Welcome to this, trial run, of a new kind of BMJ podcast - here we’re going to be focusing on all things EBM. Duncan Jarvies, Helen Macdonald and Carl Heneghan - and occasional guests- will be back every month to discuss what's been happening in the world of evidence. We'll bring you our Verdict on what you should start or stop doing, geek out...


Adverse drug reactions

Clinical trials for regulatory approval are designed to test efficacy, but new drugs might have adverse reactions - reactions those trials aren’t designed to spot. To talk about those adverse reactions - how to spot them, how to report them and what to do about them, we're joined by Robin Ferner, from the West Midlands Centre for Adverse Drug...


HAL will see you now

Machines that can learn and correct themselves already perform better than doctors at some tasks, but not all medicine is task based - but will AI doctors ever be able to have a therapeutic relationship with their patients? In this debate, Jörg Goldhahn, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich thinks that the...


How much oxygen is too much oxygen?

As the accompanying editorial to this article says, "oxygen has long been a friend of the medical profession Even old friendships require reappraisal in the light of new information." And that’s what a new rapid reccomendation - Oxygen therapy for acutely ill medical patients - does. To discuss we're joined by two of the authors, Reed Simieniuk,...


How does lifestyle affect genetic risk of stroke?

Cardiovascular factors are associated with risk of stroke - and those factors can be mediated by lifestyle and by genetic make up. New research published by The BMJ sets out to explore how these risks combine, and we're joined on the podcast by two of the authors - Loes Rutten-Jacobs, senior postdoctoral researcher at the German Center for...


Talking honestly about intensive care

On the podcast, we’ve talked a lot about the limits of medicine - where treatment doesn’t work, or potentially harms. But in that conversation, we’ve mainly focused on specific treatments. Now a new analysis, broadens that to talk about patients being admitted to a whole ward - intensive care. The authors of that article contend that, often,...


Nasal symptoms of the common cold

The common cold is usually mild and self limiting - but they’re very annoying, especially the runny nose and bunged up feeling that form the nasal symptoms. A new practice article, published on looks at the available evidence for treatment of those nasal symptoms - both pharmacological and alternative. In this podcast we're joined by...


What's it like to live with a vaginal mesh?

What can we learn from the shameful story of vaginal mesh? That thousands of women have been irreversibly harmed; that implants were approved on the flimsiest of evidence; that surgeons weren’t adequately trained and patients weren’t properly informed; that the dash for mesh, fuelled by its manufacturers, stopped the development of alternatives;...


How to taper opioids

There is very little guidance on withdrawing or tapering opioids in chronic pain (not caused by cancer). People can fear pain, withdrawal symptoms, a lack of social and healthcare support, and they may also distrust non-opioid methods of pain management. This can mean that patients receive repeat opioid prescriptions for extended periods of...


The counter intuitive effect of open label placebo

Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical school - and leading placebo researcher, has just published an analysis on describing the effect of open label placebo - placebos that patient's know are placebos, but still seem to have some clinical effect. Ted joins us to speculate about what's going on in the body, what this means...


Vinay Prasad - there is overdiagnosis in clinical trials

We want clinical trials to be thorough - but Vinay Prasad, assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health Science University, argues that the problem of overdiagnosis may be as prevalent, in the way we measure disease in our research, as our practice. In this podcast he joins us to discuss the problem, and why he thinks what qualifies as...


UK children are drinking less and the importance of a publicly provided NHS

Brits have a reputation as Europe’s boozers - and for good reason, with alcohol consumption higher than much of the rest of the continent. That reputation is extended to our young people too - but is it still deserved? Joanna Inchley, senior research fellow at the University of St Andrews, explains new research on decreasing drinking -...


Don't save on transport at the cost of the NHS

Last week we heard about how evidence in policy making is imperilled - but today we’re hearing about a plan to make evidence about health central to all aspects of government. Laura Webber, director of public health modelling at the UK Health Forum, Susie Morrow, chair of the Wandsworth Living Streets Group and Brian Ferguson, chief economist at...