BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7133.788 (Published 07 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:788

Guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control recommend that peripheral intravenous catheters should be replaced every three days. Research in Switzerland (Archives of Internal Medicine 1998;158:151-6) has challenged this advice. An evaluation of 665 catheters in 451 patients showed that complications occurred with 156 catheters but that no increase was seen in phlebitis, catheter related infection, or obstruction after the second day. The conclusion is that these hazards do not become more common when catheterisation is prolonged and that the recommendation that catheters should be changed routinely should be reassessed.

In-line skates are now so popular that it is not surprising that many children are being brought to hospital having fallen while using them. A survey in Dublin of 110 patients with such injuries (Injury 1997;28:377-9) found that 79 had sustained fractures, almost all of which were of the bones of the arm or wrist. Only 27 of the 110 had been wearing protection for their arms—a much lower proportion than that reported from the United States, where the sport began.

In the winter of 1944-5 the Netherlands was devastated by a severe famine. Follow up of 700 women born in Amsterdam during the famine (American Journal of Public Health …

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