Glossary Entry: Arterial Catheter

Overview

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.

Indications

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.