One simple procedural change reduces mortality in the cath lab

An international study published mid-March in the Lancet showed that using the wrist as an access point for heart catheterization reduced bleeding and lowered mortality rates as opposed to using the groin as an access point.

While previous studies have demonstrated that wrist access reduces incidents of bleeding, this is the first to demonstrate the connection with incidents of mortality.

The change lowers mortality at no additional cost beyond necessary additional training and expertise---insertion through the wrist is more technically demanding than insertion through the groin, as the artery is smaller.

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