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Those lengths of stay are short
Cheryl Morgan, a nurse data abstractor at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, FL, says the cardiologists there are increasingly using radial access for their catheterizations, placing hemobands immediately after the procedure.
Morgan’s department has kept retrospective comparative data for three years on length of stay (LOS) and complications for three categories: "Femoral access, no Perclose," "Femoral access, Perclose," and "Radial access." (See chart showing that data)
"Our lengths of stay are definitely shorter with the Femoral access, Perclose’ patients than with the Femoral access, no Perclose’ patients. Radial access patients don’t create much of a cost differential except for the hemobands," she says. (See the article "Radial access for stents: Fewer complications, shortened LOS" in Cost Management in Cardiac Care, November 1998, for information on other facilities using radial access for caths.)
But the radial access patients’ lengths of stay are short as well. "Four or five physicians here do radial access because of our favorable complications and length of stay data for radial," Morgan says. "The method is also a powerful patient satisfier, significantly decreasing mandatory bedrest time." Contraindications to radial access include an absence of perfusion through the ulnar and radial arteries and arterial spasms.