Previously held concepts, although common in practice, demonstrate no benefit, and actually increase patients’ discomfort.

Cardiac catheterizations are high-risk, high-volume procedures that are performed in the United States more than 1.4 million times per year.1 Vascular complications are the most common morbidity associated with cardiac catheterizations and have reported incidences as low as 0.1% and as high as 61%.2,3 Most complications occur in patients who have had a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).4,6 The American College of Cardiology (ACC) reported vascular complication rates of 1.7% in PCI patients.7 

Cardiac catheterization requires arterial access via a small sheath through either the femoral, brachial, or radial artery. After the sheath is removed, hemostasis is achieved at the insertion site with an internal vascular closure device or via external manual/mechanical compression. Most complications occur within the first 2 hours after sheath removal and include hematomas,...

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