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“Knee-Jerk Medicine” – Oxygen Therapy, COPD and Critical Illness

BACKGROUND   Owing to a widespread misconception affecting everyone from medical students to senior medical practitioners, patients with COPD are often deprived of life-saving oxygen therapy during times of critical illness.   Quite rightly we are taught at medical school to be aware of the risk of precipitating type II respiratory failure by giving uncontrolled […]

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The Stethoscope Is Just A Tube

When teaching a pair of junior medical students at the bedside I was reminded of a widespread misconception amongst medical undergraduates (and perhaps postgraduates?) with regards to clinical examination. Perhaps it originates from the stethoscope’s iconic status as the doctor’s tool of diagnosis, but this misconception is that the stethoscope is, on its own, at […]