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Heart Attack: The catheter gives way to equally useless technology
About the author: 

The catheter is fast becoming a thing of the past when it comes to treating a heart attack patient

The catheter is fast becoming a thing of the past when it comes to treating a heart attack patient.

While it's true that it does little to help the patient survive, there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of the newer techniques are any better.

Catheter usage has fallen by 65 per cent in the 10 years to 2004, and the most significant decline has been among heart attack patients, where there has been an 81 per cent fall.

Overall, cardiologists are at a loss as to how best to treat the patient in emergency care. While they enjoy measuring cardiac output, this on its own is a pretty useless waste of time.

Researchers, who have monitored the trend, warn doctors not to just jump on the next bandwagon. It could be as useless as the catheter.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 423-9).

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