BACKGROUND: Most cardiac catheterizations are performed via femoral artery access. Reported rates of both peripheral vascular complications and success rates for the use of manual and mechanical compression techniques to achieve femoral artery hemostasis after cardiac catheterization vary. OBJECTIVE: To determine is use of a mechanical clamp is as effective as standard manual pressure for femoral artery hemostasis after cardiac catheterization. METHODS: Subjects consisted of 720 patients from 2 community hospitals who had elective diagnostic cardiac catheterization via the femoral artery. The control group (n=343) received manual compression for hemostasis; the study group (n=377) received mechanical compression. Standard protocols were used for the 2 compression techniques. Pressure was applied for a minimum of 10 minutes for 5F and 6F sheaths and catheters and for a minimum of 15 minutes for 7F and 8F sheaths and catheters. Prospective data were collected and analyzed for each patients, including sheath or catheter size, blood pressure, height, weight, age, time from administration of local anesthetic to successful cannulation of the femoral artery, anticoagulation status, total compression time, physician performing the catheterization procedure, nurse or technician who obtained hemostasis, and complications. In follow-up, patients were asked site-specific and functional status questions 1 to 2 days after the catheterization procedure and again 3 days after the catheterization procedure. RESULTS: Data were analyzed by using frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and measures of variability. Only 1 difference between the 2 groups was significant: manual compression time was 14.93 +/- minutes, whereas mechanical compression time was 17.13 +/- minutes. CONCLUSION: Mechanical compression is as effective as manual compression for femoral artery hemostasis after cardiac catheterization.

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