Background Electrophysiological studies of the heart became commonplace in the past decade. Like cardiac catheterizations, electrophysiological studies are often considered “same day” procedures; patients are admitted in the morning, undergo the procedure, recover for several hours while confined to bed, and then are discharged from the hospital. The requisite time in bed varies widely between institutions where electrophysiological studies are performed. Little has been published about the optimal time that patients should remain in bed.

Objective To determine if the requisite time in bed could be safely reduced by 2 hours for patients recovering from electrophysiological studies done via a femoral venous approach.

Methods An experimental-control group design was used. A total of 68 patients were randomized to 2 hours (n = 31) or 4 hours (n = 37) of bed rest. Groups were comparable in age and sex. Both groups were observed for 5 hours after the procedure.

Results The incidence of bleeding did not differ significantly between the experimental and control groups. Bleeding occurred in only 1 patient.

Conclusions The required 4 hours of bed rest after an electrophysiological study done via a femoral vein approach can safely be reduced to 2 hours. Early ambulation has implications for decreasing the cost of nursing care after the procedure and decreasing length of hospital stay, thus optimizing utilization of beds for recovery.

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