Study supports wrist entry for cardiac cath procedures

Cardiac catheterization using the wrist is as safe and effective as procedures that enter the body through the femoral artery in the groin and may lead to fewer serious complications, according to researchers at McMaster University in Canada who presented their findings at the ACC annual meeting. Hospitals that have a high volume of patients undergoing the procedure with wrist entry had lower rates of death, heart attack and stroke, the study found. "Even if both [approaches] are completely equivalent, patients will choose the approach that is more comfortable and that allows them to get back to their normal activities as soon as possible," said SCAI spokeswoman Dr. Kimberly Skelding.

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