How long does it take?

I was recently reminded of the frailty and vulnerability of our allotted time. At the end of every day I enjoy a walk around Deer Lake to reflect on the challenges of work and to plan the next day. On one of my recent walks I noticed a toddler playing alone at the shoreline. Two young women were playing with several other children 50 metres away, and, after some prodding from me, one eventually sauntered off to retrieve him.

As I continued my route along the boardwalk my memory flashed back several decades. Our first daughter was 11/2 years old and full of unbridled energy. Standing waist deep in the ocean, she was playing tag with us as my wife and I stood 2 metres apart. At one point she tagged my wife, turned back toward me, lost her balance, fell forward, and rolled face up under water. She did not struggle. A stream of bubbles escaped her mouth and she began to sink to the bottom. In shocked disbelief I reached down and pulled her limp body to the surface. The time from healthy child to near death was exceedingly short. As we carried her to shore, water cleared from her lungs and she awoke from her brief nap. She appeared unfazed by her recent adventure, but we were not as calm.

It is worth remembering that water of any depth is a potential life-threatening hazard to young children—supervised or not. There is an old aviation adage—learn from the mistakes of others as you will surely not live long enough to make them all yourself.
—John Albrecht, MD
New Westminster

J.E. Albrecht, MD. How long does it take?. BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 6, July, August, 2014, Page(s) 264 - Letters.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.


For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply