How to manage an arterial catheter
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How to manage an arterial catheter

Andrew Parry Senior lecturer in critical care, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales
Ray Higginson Senior lecturer in critical care physiology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales

Rationale and key points

This article provides nurses with information on the safe and effective use and management of arterial catheters, the gold standard for accurate blood pressure measurement and routine serial blood gas sampling in critical care. Arterial catheters are used when real-time blood pressure monitoring is required, such as when there is a risk of significant blood loss.

Arterial catheters provide real-time blood pressure monitoring, enabling rapid identification of changes in blood pressure and guiding fluid resuscitation.

Arterial catheters can be used to take blood samples without having to perform multiple arterial or venous punctures.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How this article will change your practice when managing a patient with an arterial catheter.

Any further learning needs you have identified.

Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:

Nursing Standard. 30, 29, 36-39. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.29.36.s45


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 09 September 2014

Accepted: 04 December 2014

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