Pulmonary artery catheters used extensively in hospitals to check heart and organ condition could be a danger to the patient, possibly even threatening his life.

The newer style of balloon tipped catheter, used on many millions of patients since it was introduced in 1970, has never been properly tested for its safety, but small trials have indicated that it could be endangering life.

Now the American Medical Association is calling for a halt to the use of catheters, or to properly assess their safety through a randomized trial.

!AJAMA, 1996; 276:916-8.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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