NEWS

Doctors are being banned from inserting intravenous feeding tubes directly into the hearts of sick newborn babies, following a Department of Health report. Chief medical officer Professor Liam Donaldson commissioned the study after four babies in Greater Manchester died last year from cardiac tamponade - fluid in the lining of the heart - after the catheter was inserted in this way. Doctors are divided on whether this method, or inserting the catheter into the vena cava, a vein which returns blood to the heart, is preferable. Professor Donaldson wants an audit of existing practice but has issued the ban until the review is complete. None of the Manchester doctors wer found to have been negligent.