The latest important research, summarised

NIHR Signal Lying on one’s side in labour with an epidural is safe and leads to more spontaneous births

Women who lie on their side in the second stage of labour after a low-dose epidural are more likely to give birth spontaneously than those who remain upright when actively contracting. Lying down on either side doesn’t appear to be harmful to mothers or babies. This means that 17 of these women would need to lie on their side instead of... Read More

  • 12 December 2017
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NIHR Signal Alternative drug may prevent atrial fibrillation following heart surgery

After heart surgery around a third of people have atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm, which impedes their recovery and lengthens hospital stay. Colchicine treatment could reduce this complication by about a third.

About 11 people would need this treatment to prevent one of them developing atrial fibrillation. Using amiodarone, an... Read More

  • 12 December 2017
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NIHR Signal Fewer large babies are born to pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes if their glucose was monitored continuously

Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes who used a continuous glucose monitoring system were half as likely to have a large baby compared with those using standard finger prick blood glucose measurements. Only 15% of infants needed intensive care admissions due to low blood glucose in the continuous glucose monitoring group, compared with 28% born to... Read More

  • 12 December 2017
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Two nerve drugs are not suitable for treating long-term low back pain

NIHR Signal Two nerve drugs are not suitable for treating long-term low back pain

The drugs gabapentin and pregabalin (gabapentinoids) were found not to help lower back pain that had lasted more than three months. Gabapentin gave no benefit compared with placebo, while pregabalin was less effective than other painkillers. Both were associated with several side effects, such as dizziness.

Long-term low back pain without clear ... Read More

  • 5 December 2017
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Low FODMAP diet may improve irritable bowel symptoms more than other diets

NIHR Signal Low FODMAP diet may improve irritable bowel symptoms more than other diets

Adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who followed a low FODMAP diet had fewer symptoms than those who followed standard dietary advice. They scored their symptoms about 50 points better on a 500 point scale.

The low FODMAP diet is an emerging approach for IBS. It is based on the theory that certain carbohydrates can expand or ferment in... Read More

  • 5 December 2017
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