Stem-cell therapy: the artery clogger
Stem-cell therapy, used to improve cardiac function in heart-attack patients, causes restenosis (narrowing of the arteries) among patients with stents (devices to widen the arteries) (Lancet, 2004; 363: 751-6).
The gadgets don't work: part 320
Blood-pressure readings aren't any more accurate no matter how newfangled the gadgets. When 171 patients had their blood pressure checked, the automated devices produced readings that bore no relation to a reference standard, and repeated measurements appeared inaccurate (Acad Emerg Med, 2004; 11: 237-43).
SSRIs: on a suicide watch
The FDA requests that a warning be put on the labels of Prozac-type antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to remind doctors to keep such patients under close observation for any worsening of depression or suicidal thoughts. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram, escitalopram, bupropion, venlafaxine, nefazodone and mirtazapine (BMJ, 2004; 328: 729).
Stress makes it worse
Stress is bad for everyone, but especially for those with multiple sclerosis as it will exacerbate all MS symptoms (BMJ, 2004; 328: 331-3).
Giving birth: water - the sooner, the better
Researchers in Southampton have found that women who go into water during the very first stages of labour are far less likely to need analgesics or a caesarean.
On testing 99 first-time mothers, half of whom were immersed in water during early labour while the rest had standard care without access to a birthing pool, those who went into the birthing pool had far fewer epidurals, needed less help in delivering and had fewer obstetric interventions (BMJ, 2004; 328: 314-8).