The BMJ Today: Wikipedia, childbirth, and statins

Juliet DobsonWould you ever cite Wikipedia as a source of academic information? An increasing number of people are, according to this study by M Dylan Bould and colleagues. But it is to be avoided says, Lane Rasberry, a Wikipedian in residence. Wikipedia should be used as a summary of primary and secondary sources, and the original authors and work should always be credited.  

The war in Syria has not been out of the headlines since it began, and this week Francesco Checchi, senior humanitarian health adviser at Save the Children, has said that the world has been slow to respond to the recent polio outbreak in Syria. In July 2013 the first polio case was recorded there since 1999, and 36 more cases have been reported since. Checchi warns that aid agencies and health organisations need to learn lessons from this to make sure that a similar outbreak does not occur in other warring nations.

Susan Bewley is the latest person to fill in our BMJ Confidential questionnaire. A professor of complex obstetrics, she describes the time she was happiest as, “the day I gave birth … in that moment of relief following the delivery of a watermelon covered in razor blades, I realised that I could face death fulfilled and unafraid.” It’s hard to know if that is encouraging or not, but she goes on to lament that, “pregnancy is increasingly ‘difficult’ and fear filled. It is dismal how some women (and doctors) lose confidence in their bodies’ ability and then avoid the labour that ‘enlivens’ and benefits babies.”

And finally, don’t forget to vote in our poll. This week we ask, “Should statins be extended to people at low risk of cardiovascular disease?” Des Spence worries that the latest draft NICE guidelines that recommend lowering the treatment threshold to people with a 10 year risk of 10% will “statinise” the population. What do you think?

Juliet Dobson is web editor and blogs editor, The BMJ.