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Squiggly lines and tea leaves

13 Jun, 10 | by Bob Phillips

My grannie-in-law knew a lady who would look at your tea leaves and tell you the future (younger readers – see here – tea is not always bagged & tagged).

I had a similar experience with a neonatologist who would look at the seismograph attached to a babies head and declare the child needed more (or less) phenobarbitone.  Exactly how the dose alterations were related to who’d just knocked the incubator, and what they did for the babe, I have yet to understand. But there is a London doctor who is reviewing just how much those ‘cerebral function monitors’ really do tell clever tiny baby docs anything at all.I have to admit to massive uncertainty about studies in this sort of area. After all, they’re usually done by groups with far too much emotionally invested in the technology, and who may well have decades of experience. Do they really reflect real life? And what is real life anyway?

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