Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Placing an arterial catheter

Contributor(s): Graham Bilbrough, Elisa Mazzaferro, Sheilah Robertson

Introduction

  • Arterial catheters are placed to enable invasive blood pressure monitoring and repeated sampling of arterial blood.

Uses

  • Invasive blood pressure measurement/monitoring ("the gold standard of blood pressure monitoring") .
  • Pain-free arterial blood sampling if multiple samples are required.

Disadvantages

  • Placing an arterial catheter is more technically demanding than placing a venous catheter especially in cats and small dogs.
  • Major risk of exsanguination if catheter placed in arterial system becomes disconnected.

Take great care to avoid air embolism.

  • Arterial catheters have greater tendency to 'clot' than venous catheters and require frequent 'flushing'.
  • Procedure uncomfortable for patients. Use of local anesthetic cream or subcutaneous injection of local anesthetic over artery, beneficial in the unanesthetized patient.
  • Risk of hematoma formation. Apply firm digital pressure for at least four minutes after removal of catheter or failed attempt to place one.

As with any catheter, take care to avoid infection.

  • Small risk of creating ischemia in extremity served by artery.

Requirements

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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