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Fireworks Night is an annual British event that marks the occasion of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot on the 5th November 1605. These nocturnal festivities recount the arrest of Guy Fawkes, whilst he was guarding the explosives secretly placed beneath the House of Lords. Airwaves reports the gunpowder, treason and plot found in this month’s Thorax…

Expecting the unexpected…

Guys Fawkes would never have expected to be arrested for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. Indeed, predicting this unplanned event would have been far from the plotter’s thoughts. However, Nazir Lone and colleagues ( see page 1046 ). have done exactly that and focused on predicting unplanned events, in this case predicting the risk of unplanned hospital readmission in survivors of critical illness. By population based analysis, and using the Scottish linking registry data for patients discharged from ICU, the authors observed that not only were unplanned 90 day hospital readmissions common following ICU survival, but pre-existing illness better predicted readmission than acute illness. Understanding modifiable risk factors could improve outcome, although this is all a little late for Guys Fawkes and his colleagues who did not plan for …

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