Q: Is it safe for patients with pulmonary artery catheters inserted via the jugular or subclavian vein to stand up?

Do you have any information on ambulating patients with femoral arterial catheters? Some of our patients have femoral arterial catheters after open heart surgery, and the surgeon says to ambulate them with the catheters in place. Although this makes me uncomfortable, I cannot find literature to support or not support this.

I do not see any available standards or articles related to safety of ambulation with small-gauge (20 gauge) “soft” femoral catheters. It seems that most institutions have no policy. I refuse to get my patient out of bed with a femoral arterial catheter but often have patients with orders to do so. My concern is related to fibrin clots that may form around the catheter, especially because of its length (usually 20 cm). Valid or not?

A: Chris Winkelman,...

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