Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cochrane Collaboration on Influenza

I went to a talk given by Sir Iain Chalmers, cofounder and current director of the Cochrane Collaboration yesterday. He spoke about the various controlled trials that need to be performed to ensure that a new medicine is a) effective and b) not doing more harm than no treatment or previously used treatments. He was taking us through the history of treatments for pneumonia (for the longest time treated with blood letting, as late as 1903), treatment and prevention of diphtheria, and prevention of whooping cough and measles. I am hoping the James Lind Library or Public Health Department of Edinburgh University will publish the lecture eventually. For the moment, Evans, Thornton and Chalmers' book "Testing Treatments" , free for download at the James Lind Library is a suitable alternative. But since everyone is talking about the flu, Sir Iain also pointed to the Cochrane Collaboration's new page on all things infuenza and to Dr Tom Jefferson's pod cast that summarizes the findings of all Cochrane Reviews on influenza in a few minutes. Listen in - you may be surprised:

Special Podcast - summary of Cochrane Reviews on influenza

Play Now! | Download [mp3]

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