Glossary Entry: Arterial Catheter


Definition: An arterial catheter is a thin, flexible tube inserted into an artery to monitor blood pressure, obtain blood samples, and continuously assess blood gases.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Arterial catheters come in various sizes and materials, with some specialized models designed for specific medical procedures such as arterial cannulation for continuous monitoring in critical care settings.


Common Uses: Arterial catheters are commonly used in critical care units, operating rooms, and during major surgical procedures to monitor blood pressure and obtain real-time blood gas measurements.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion of an arterial catheter requires proper aseptic technique and may involve using the Seldinger technique, where a needle is used to access the artery, followed by the insertion of the catheter through the needle.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with arterial catheterization include bleeding, infection, thrombosis, and damage to the artery.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Arterial catheters require regular monitoring for signs of infection and occlusion, as well as proper flushing with heparinized solution to maintain patency.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Invasive blood pressure monitoring systems and transducers are commonly used in conjunction with arterial catheters for accurate blood pressure measurements.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in arterial catheter technology include improved materials for catheter construction and the integration of pressure transducers for better accuracy.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Healthcare providers must adhere to strict guidelines for the insertion, maintenance, and disposal of arterial catheters to ensure patient safety and minimize the risk of complications.