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Research Fraud: A Garden of Delights

 [S]teroid injections [are sometimes] given to women undergoing elective Caesarean sections to deliver their babies. These injections are intended to prevent breathing problems in newborns. There is a worry that they might cause damage to a baby’s brain, but the practice was supported by a review, published in 2018… However, when [a group of scientific sleuths] looked at this review, they found it included three studies that they had noted as unreliable. A revised review, published in 2021, which excluded these three, found the benefits of the drugs for such cases to be uncertain.


[C]ritically ill patients undergoing surgery were once sometimes given starch infusions to boost their blood pressure. This was based in part on seven now discredited studies by Joachim Boldt, a German anaesthesiologist. A revised round-up of the evidence published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 2013, after his fabrications were discovered, concluded that giving starch infusions in these circumstances caused kidney damage and sometimes killed people.


 [F]or more than a decade cardiac patients in Europe were given beta-blockers before surgery, with the intention of reducing heart attacks and strokes—a practice that rested on a study from 2009 which was eventually determined to have been based, at least in part, on fabricated data. By one estimate, this approach may have caused 10,000 deaths a year in Britain alone. And a systematic review showing that infusion of a high-dose sugar solution reduces mortality after head injury was retracted after an investigation failed to find evidence that any of the trials included in it, which were all ascribed to the same researcher, had actually taken place.


Margaret Soltan, February 6, 2024 10:23AM
Posted in: march of science

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