eLetters

5 e-Letters

  • Mucopleurastasis: A description of the phenomena of patients reporting the symptom of being ‘caught in the chest’.

    Medicine has a long history of having its own technical and discriptive language.

    This has often developed from observations of medical phenomena being explored and cataloged scientifically, presented in a way that is descriptive and useful for clinicians.

    Ireland is a country defined by it literature. It is famous for its coloquial language and linguistic idiosyncrasities. From Joycian ‘chamber music’ to Wildes’ wit and Irish idioms like ‘being away with the fairies’, it is clear that we more than most have our own way with words.

    This is not disimilar to many parts of the world where dialects have evolved to better represent the cultural nuiances of the given area. In many ways language evolves out of a need to communicate amongst each other.

    In Ireland, specifically the geographically isolated West coast, many patients present to their family doctor reporting that they are ‘caught in the chest’. For some, particularly as you move away from the West and certainly out of Ireland, this may seem an unusual symptom or at least an unusual turn of phrase, but for a GP from the West of Ireland, this presentation occurs at least several times a day and more frequently during the winter months.

    So what exactly is the message that these patients are trying to convey and why indeed is it such a common presentation?

    This description of the sensation they are experiencing generally refers to patients with respiratory tract type infections. M...

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  • GPs 'wasting millions of pounds' prescribing gluten free foods
    John R. Davies

    The February issue of the Drugs and Therepeutics Bulletin, a BMJ journal,has an editorial entitled "Prescribing foods?". I regret that despite my forty years of BMA membership and BMJ readership, I can only read an abstract, as I am considered a 'non-subscriber': http://dtb.bmj.com/content/51/2/13.extract

    So I must also link to a Daily Telegraph article. It is by the DT's Medical Correspondent, who I can ass...

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  • Prescribing perfectly
    Robert M Ulmann

    DTB Vol. 50, No. 9, September 2012 - Prescribing perfectly

    In your leading article on this subject you ask reactions. As a retired pharmacist with a long standing experience in community pharmacy I recommend the following:

    There is no perfect prescribing as long as this is left to humans. Computers may be of help but their output is as good as their input may be. Humans are never perfect, even doctors a...

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  • Neuropathic pain and pregabalin
    Barbara Pawulska

    The recent DTB update on the drug treatment of neuropathic pain. Part 2: antiepileptics and other drugs (DTB 2012;50:126-129) is a welcome summary of prescribing, and a reminder of the poor quality of the evidence behind the guidance.

    However, it may be prudent to add a warning about pregabalin.

    The Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC)(1) states: Cases of abuse have been reported. Caution should b...

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  • Mole checks on the high street
    Jonathan C Bowling

    Dear Sir,

    As a dermatologist involved in skin cancer management I read with interest your article on mole checks on the high street and the concerns raised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS). I gave evidence to the APPGS and shared their concerns regarding the lack of training in skin cancer diagnosis, for staff performing the clinical examination in such clinics. The high street mole screeni...

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