Close X
Get more out of WDDTY.com
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
OR

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.


Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

News1990April › But is it safe? routine procedures may not be best procedures › April 1990

But is it safe? routine procedures may not be best procedures

It's quite extraordinary how procedures in hospitals get adopted

It's quite extraordinary how procedures in hospitals get adopted. Their very nature makes it almost impossible to test in a proper scientific trial; how do you carry out a double-blind placebo trial on open-heart surgery, for instance?

For this reason, well over 80 per cent of procedures you may encounter in a hospital have never been tested for their safety or efficacy.

One example of this is the pulmonary-artery catheter, given almost routinely to elderly, high-risk patients in intensive care. It's a very invasive and unpleasant procedure and, worse, consultants and nurses have noticed that patients given a catheter are more likely to die than those left alone.

So researchers from the University of Calgary decided to break with tradition, and test a hospital procedure. They observed the progress of 1,994 patients, half of whom were given a catheter before emergency surgery, and the rest had standard care.

The worst fears of the consultants were confirmed. Those given a catheter who more likely to suffer a pulmonary embolism although, thereafter, survival rates at six and 12 months were similar in both groups.

So what are the benefits of the catheter? None at all, say the researchers, and it's another invasive procedure that can be safely stopped.

(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2003; 348: 5-14).


You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved