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An Influenza pandemic became noticeable in Mexico and spread.


US healthcare reform

As of Christmas 2009 it appeared that a more equitable system with mechanisms for cost containment would appear in the USA early in 2010.

Killing season

A study detected an association with increased patient mortality and new medical staff cohort turnover in the UK.

Swine flu (August 2009)

The first wave of the pandemic has probably peaked in the UK, having been of significant illness but well below the worst fears. Oseltamivir is now deprecated in most young children, due to excess side-effects. The expressed view of the BMA's GPC Influenza lead, Peter Holden accords with the more cynical GPs, who are less keen on treating all possible cases with an anti-viral than the department of health and its call-centres.

Swine flu (April 2009)

Reports of Swine Flu with human transmission - a form of H1N1 influenza normally only affecting pigs became widespread knowledge on 25th April when WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern - it had become established in March in Mexico and the USA. At the time a pandemic was declared on 11 June the strain exhibited high infectivity in younger age groups and mild to moderate virulence. The Mexican first wave had moderated but first waves in Australia, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand were becoming established although still open to a delaying strategy. The damping effect of the end of the northern hemisphere flu season was expected to modulate other well established first waves as in North and Central America, UK, Spain and Japan. It had antiviral sensitivity resulting in a death rate where these were easily available of the order of 1:1000 although human vaccine was not expected until August at the earliest. See Ganfyd's swine flu page.

Statins might just prevent PE after all

Primary prevention strategies using rosuvastatin will work partially due to its impact on venous thromboembolic disease.

Additional private care on the NHS

March Guidance was issued relevant to receiving NHS and private care for the same condition.

Surgical Checklists

January Prof Darzi introduces detailed pre-op surgical checklist.