How to make surgery safer
Ask 40,000 surgeons from around the world what they would pick to scientifically investigate and what do they choose? They voted for a new trial to establish whether changing to new surgical gloves and clean instruments just before abdominal wounds are closed up during surgery, would reduce infection. Thirteen thousand operations in seven countries later (in Benin, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa) the answer to the most common complication of surgery is in, and the results are published in the journal, the Lancet. Co-author Aneel Bhangu, senior lecturer in surgery at the University of Birmingham, tells Claudia how the findings of this apparently simple step, will change surgical guidelines around the world.
We all have a space around us that we claim as our own. If anybody comes too close, we feel uncomfortable or even threatened. But what has social distancing and the pandemic done to our personal space? Science writer David Robson reports from one of the biggest brain sciences conferences in the world, Neuroscience 2022 in San Diego on new research, using virtual reality, that revealed, surprisingly, that our personal space had shrunk. But, crucially, while our personal force field has reduced, it’s also hardened. And according to the study, David says, we’re now much less tolerant if this new, reduced 'peripersonal distance' is breached.
And BBC global health correspondent, Naomi Grimley, joins Claudia in the Health Check studio and reports on the challenge to China’s Zero-Covid strategy as coronavirus cases rise; Africa’s first conference on the disabling condition club foot and a new study on acupuncture for pregnant women with lower back pain.
Presenter: Claudia Hammond
Producer: Fiona Hill
(Picture: Operating theatre staff wearing scrubs, one helping the other put on gloves. Photo credit: Jochen Sand/Getty Images.)