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Inside this issue:

WHAT THE DOCTOR THINKS
BY DR. IAN NISBET

stored until needed.
The first mobile blood bank ever was set up at the Battle of Cambrai during the First World War. Group O blood ("universal donor" can be given to anybody) was stored in anticipation of wounded soldiers. After the war, public blood banks were set up and, during World War Two, plasma was shipped from the USA to the UK for wounded servicemen.
Problems were then encountered with infection in donated blood and all blood is now tested for Hepatitis B, HIV, HTLV & Hepatitis C.
I was intrigued to read that 17,200 nurses have come from the Philippines to work in the NHS, causing the closure of 10 hospitals over there. Even worse, 4,000 of their doctors are retraining as nurses so that they can come to the UK to work.
I saw a sign in a beach café in Southwold saying
"I can only please one person each day. Today is not your day and tomorrow does not look too good, either"   I love it but would not dream of  putting it on my consulting room door.
Things you might like to say at work could include :

"I'm really easy to get on with once you see things my way"
"It sounds like English but I don't understand a word you are saying"
"How do you set this laser printer to stun?"
"I'm out of my mind - please leave a message"
"Do I look like a people person?"

Best wishes,
Ian G. Nisbet

NATIONAL PATIENTS'
RECORD DATABASE
Recently, I have been agitating about the concept of such a database, worrying about loss of confidentiality and citing the case of two doctors in Spain who had been suspended for two years for refusing to put confidential patient data into the Spanish computer, which contains 2 million patients' records and is accessed by 2,500 people daily.
I now read in my journals that
"More than 30% [remember, 95% is more than 30%!] of GPs are unaware that the government is planning to create central electronic patient records which can be accessed by a wide range of health care workers" (i.e. almost anybody who is interested). The article continues:
"Less than 50% of GPs [maybe 2%?] have been consulted about the plans for THE INTEGRATED CARE RECORDS SYSTEM (ICRS) which will ensure that the data held in practices can be uploaded by NHS workers to a central record held at PCT [formerly Health Authority] level".
The core of the system will be known as the
data spine and, when it is "rolled out" in April, it will contain only easily verified and accurate patient details such as name, age, date of birth and personal wishes such as donor card possession. There will also be a short summary of health information such as diagnosis, medication and allergies. Also included will be hospital discharge summaries, clinical correspondence and referrals, and the names of carers.
An unborn baby will be allocated a unique identification number at the age of 28 weeks gestation (12 weeks before it is born!) and this number will allow

all those involved in the patient's health care to access electronic information throughout the patient's life. Professor Hutton, who is advising the government, told us "when the electronic patient record has evolved from the spine, the government will decide whether data such as genetic information should be included" .He went on to say that there would not be wide public consultation about creating this system because "patient groups, clinical bodies and bodies such as the GMC were already being canvassed for their opinions". If anyone reading this article has been consulted about the matter, I would love to hear from you - somehow, I expect a deafening silence. If this government tells us that it has consulted widely, be suspicious.
BLOOD TRANSFUSION
Have you ever wondered about the history of blood transfusion? The first recorded transfusion was in animals in 1665. Shortly after this, a French doctor called Jean Baptiste-Denis began transfusing his patients with animal blood. Unsurprisingly, a patient died and he was put on trial for murder. He was acquitted but the scandal took the shine off the idea of transfusion for the next 150 years.
In 1819, James Blundell performed the first human to human blood transfusion. The patient improved and then died but Blundell carried on transfusing patients with haemorrhage, malnutrition and fear of water (don't ask!). It was not until 1907, when Landsteiner identified the different blood groups, A B O and AB, that transfusion became safer. Next, they discovered that sodium citrate, added to the blood, would stop it clotting for a few days, so it could be

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