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Use of β blockers during surgery may have caused 10 000 deaths in the UK

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4914 (Published 05 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4914
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Up to 10 000 deaths may have been caused in the United Kingdom by following a guideline that can no longer be relied upon, says an analysis by a group from Imperial College in London.

Writing in Heart online, the group said that a guideline recommending the use of β blockers to protect the heart during non-cardiac surgery relied heavily on results from a trial led by a now discredited Dutch researcher, Don Poldermans.1 To make matters worse, Poldermans also chaired the committee that wrote the guideline.

Darrel Francis and colleagues said that there was no proof …

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