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News and updates from
  1. Andrew Wilcock1 and
  2. Sarah Charlesworth2
  1. 1Department of Palliative Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Hayward House Study Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sarah Charlesworth, Hayward House Study Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals, City Campus, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK; s.charlesworth{at}

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The website has provided essential independent information about drugs used in palliative and hospice care for over a decade, and has over 30 000 members from 169 countries. It contains the online Palliative Care Formulary (PCF) and provides free access to a Bulletin board to stimulate questions and share experiences, a Document library containing 475 items of useful information and a Syringe Driver Survey Database containing details of over 2350 different drug combinations. The UK Palliative Care Formulary 5th edition (book, PDF and online versions) and Introducing Palliative Care 5th edition can also be purchased via the website. This feature provides a selection of items that have featured in the News and Latest additions sections in recent months; for additional information, register for free on the website.

Safety updates

Nasogastric tube misplacement: continuing risk of death and severe harm

A stage 2 (resource) patient safety alert (NHS/PSA/RE/2016/006) has been issued to help support implementation of the previous alerts. This follows a further 95 incidents between September 2011–March 2016 where fluids or medication were introduced into the respiratory tract or pleura. A review highlighted problems with the organisational processes for implementing previous alerts. Thus, this resource alert is directed at Trust boards (or equivalent) and the processes that support clinical governance.

Citalopram suspected drug interaction with cocaine

UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has reminded prescribers to consider illicit drug use and the risk of drug interactions when prescribing. This follows a suspected fatal drug interaction between citalopram and cocaine.

Thalidomide new risks

A letter has been sent to UK health professionals about the risks of viral reactivation and pulmonary hypertension associated with thalidomide.

Hot topics

Management of chronic pain in adult cancer survivors

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has published guidelines on the management of chronic pain in survivors of adult cancer.

Updated do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation policy

The Scottish government has published an update to NHS Scotland's Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.