What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Helmets don’t contribute to safety

Forcing people to wear bike helmets is of no use in road safety measures. The biggest drop in head injuries among bike riders occurred before helmet use was required by law, said Chris Rissel, University of Sydney.

“Subsequent reductions in head injuries have occurred at a much lower rate and are not of the magnitude you’d expect from making all cyclists wear a helmet,” said Rissel.

“Findings suggest the greatest reductions in head injuries ... come from road improvement safety measures introduced prior to 1991, such as lower speed limits, random breath testing and intensive road safety advertising.”

Rissel said the research showed the importance of ongoing helmet use by riders under the age of 15, as these younger riders suffered about half the head injuries reported in this study. But the case for continued mandatory helmet wearing for adults was ‘questionable’, as the requirement could act as a hurdle to encouraging more bike use.
“Wearing a helmet is still recommended, but you don’t really need one if you’re just riding in a park or going to the shops for some milk,” he said.

Vapour rub effective on kids with cough, congestion

Applying a vapour rub is effective for treating children with night-time cough and congestion and improves sleep for children with cold symptoms.

Recent studies by Paul and colleagues at the Penn State College of Medicine looked at the efficacy of oral over-the-counter treatments such as dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine for upper respiratory infection symptoms.

Vapour rubs, containing menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oils, have been used for over a century without published evidence to support their use.

Ian Paul, associate professor of pediatrics and public health sciences, and his research team recruited 138 children ages 2 to 11 for the study. Parents assessed their child’s symptoms the night before enrollment in the study.

Parents then completed a second survey the following morning assessing their child’s cough, sleep, congestion and runny nose.

In comparisons across the three treatment groups, parents reported that the Vapour rub provided significantly greater relief as measured by cough frequency, cough severity, congestion and the child’s ability to sleep.

Ultrasound improves efficacy of knee jabs

Ultrasound needle guidance improves the performance, outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of knee injections in people with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes changes in bones that include fluid accumulation, bony overgrowth, and loosening and weakness of muscles and tendons, all of which may limit movement and cause pain and swelling.

Researchers found the use of the ultrasound-guided method to provide improved results — including a 107 per cent increase in the number of people who responded to the treatment and a 51.6 per cent reduction in the number of people who did not.

Additionally, researchers noted a 47 per cent reduction in pain during the procedure, a 41.7 per cent reduction in pain two weeks after the injection, and a 35.5 per cent increase in the length of time the participants experienced pain relief after the injection.

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