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Arterial catheterization refers to the introduction of a cannula or catheter into a palpable artery. This allows continuous measurement of blood pressure (systolic, mean and diastolic) and to take blood samples to carry out a blood gas analysis.
This procedure is mainly used in the intensive care, sub-intensive care, and operating room settings.
In this article, we see more details about arterial catheterization, on accesses and on catheter placement techniques.
An arterial catheter is usually inserted in the radial or femoral artery, but access can also be possible via the ulnar, pedicle, axillary, or brachial artery.
Through arterial catheterization it is possible to:
In the choice of the insertion site, several factors must be evaluated, not only from the point of view of comfort and safety, but also with regard to the management of antisepsis, the presence of other catheters, the presence of any anatomical deformations and the risk of mechanical complications (eg, bleeding).
Below, we see what are the advantages and disadvantages related to access via radial and femoral artery:
Arterial catheter placement can be performed by direct technique (with short catheter) or Seldinger technique (with catheter between 10 and 25 cm).
In adults, catheter access is preferred in the upper extremities (usually radial artery) compared with the lower ones, which are associated with a higher risk of complications.
Before arterial puncture, it is important to assess blood flow to the hand and fingers, particularly the patency of the ulnar and radial artery. Through Allen's test, which does not require special instruments or devices, it is possible to verify the integrity of the collateral circulation of the hand (for further information, you can read the dedicated article here).
During the placement of the catheter in the radial artery, the arm must be fixed with the hand in extension. In addition, it is recommended to fix the arterial catheter in such a way as to keep it well stable.
Another aspect to be considered, for an optimal procedure, is the use of effective devices, made of Teflon or Pebax, which allow to:
Delta Med's Alfacath line of arterial catheters is designed to ensure safe, complication-free and puncture-free positioning of peripheral arteries.
To learn more, contact us without obligation to get more information from one of our professionals.
Dossier Infad - Informazioni dalla letteratura scientifica per una buona pratica infermieristica (anno 3, n. 37).