Before an arterial line is inserted, the skin at the site is prepped typically with the traditional iodophor-based preps. The arterial site is then covered with an occlusive dressing. When arterial lines are maintained for even a few days, it is not uncommon that some form of complication develops at the arterial site, such as redness, inflammation, positional problems, or even infection. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this traditional preparation and dressing method, the site is obscured constantly and complications are not always detected before a resulting infection occurs. This prospective study was designed to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of a new transparent prep, used with a transparent dressing at the arterial site. Sixty patients' arterial line sites were evaluated to determine the incidence of complications of the two arterial site prep and dressing methods. The effectiveness that the dressings may serve in securing the arterial lines in place was also evaluated. There were no complications in this study directly related to either skin preparation or dressing method, thus, there were no statistically significant differences. However, the transparent prep and transparent dressing method provided constant visual access to the arterial site and required fewer steps, clearly significant advantages not provided by the traditional method.

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