Q: Do evidence-based or best practice guidelines exist for managing femoral arterial sheaths in patients who have undergone elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)?

A: Anna Mall, BS, RN, CCRN, replies:

Estimates indicate that more than 1 million Americans will experience a new or recurrent cardiac event in 2019, and many of these patients will receive treatment in cardiac catheterization laboratories across the country. Cardiac catheterization is a common procedure, yet standards and protocols for caring for this patient population vary greatly among institutions, and few evidence-based standards relate to postprocedural care.2,3 

Although use of the radial artery to obtain vascular access has increased in the United States, the femoral artery remains a mainstay of vascular access during PCI, despite higher rates of complications, major bleeding, and transfusion. Few publications describe the nursing care of patients immediately after catheterization,...

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