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Walking an Hour After Cardiac Catheterization May Be Safe

Improves patient comfort with low complication rates if managed carefully

TUESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulation an hour after cardiac catheterization can improve patient comfort, reduce use of resources and may have a low rate of complications if staff members are well-trained in achieving hemostasis, according to a study published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Henry H. Ting, M.D., M.B.A., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a study of 1,005 patients who underwent outpatient diagnostic cardiac catheterization with a transfemoral approach using a 5F catheter system. The cohort had a mean age of 64.5 years and 62 percent were men. They all achieved hemostasis with the use of manual compression and after one hour of bed rest, moved around while being observed by a nurse.

There were no major complications such as surgical repair, red blood cell transfusion, retroperitoneal bleeding or infections. However, in 33 cases (3.3 percent) there were minor complications, including 14 hematomas (1.4 percent) of less than 4 cm, 19 cases of rebleeding (1.9 percent) requiring repeated manual compression and one patient (0.1 percent) with a hematoma greater than 4 cm.

"The success of this protocol at Mayo Clinic speaks to the exceptional level of nursing at that institution, and caution should be used in generalizing these data to other catheterization centers," according to an editorial. "The availability of nursing resources and the ability of the catheterization laboratory staff to undergo effective training in achieving hemostasis with manual compression may be important factors in allowing other centers to use a similar protocol."

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