* Up to 5 per cent of patients who undergo vaginal hysterectomy with keyhole surgery have their urinary tract injured. The rate is lower when the surgeon is skilled in keyhole surgery, says an Australian report (Med J Aust, 1997; 166: 172-3).
* The age of the mother is, on its own, not a good enough indicator of Down's syndrome in the unborn child, researchers have found. The issue is complicated by the number of children the woman has had previously; the more the children, the greater the risk in the older mother, they say (BMJ, 1997; 314: 720-1).
* Patients taking potassium chloride run the risk of suffering severe hyperkalemia, or too much potassium in the blood, which can lead to irregular heart beat and even death with no warning symptoms. Four per cent of patients out of 12,825 taking potassium had elevated levels in their blood (Family Pract News, December, 1996: 28).