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Arrow® Vascular Access Clinical Education

Device: Arterial Catheters


Arterial catheters are commonly used medical devices for hemodynamic monitoring and arterial blood gas sampling. They are inserted and cared for by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians. They can have complications during or post insertion. Studies have shown that arterial catheters have infection rates similar to central venous catheters.1-12 The CDC has specific infection prevention guidelines for arterial catheters. See what you can do to change practice in your facility and improve patient outcomes.


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1. O'grady, N.P., Alexander, M., Burns L.A., Dellinger, P., Garland, J., Heard, S.O., Lipsett P.A., Masur, H., Mermel, L.A., Pearson, M.L., Raad, I.I., Randolph, A, Rupp, M.E., Saint, S.. Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011. The Centers for Disease Control.

2. Maki DG, Kluger DM, Crnich CJ. The risk of bloodstream infection in adults with different intravascular devices: a systematic review of 200 published prospective studies. Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic. Sep 2006;81(9):1159-1171.

3. David M. Cohen, MD et al. Arterial Catheter Use in the ICU: A National Survey of Antiseptic Technique and Perceived Infectious Risk ;Crit Care Med 2015; 43:2346–2353

4. John C. O’Horo, MD; Dennis G. Maki, MD, MS; Anna E. Krupp, RN; Nasia Safdar MD, PhD, Critical Care Medicine, 2014

5. Arjan Kumar et al. Frequency and Pattern of Colonization of Intravenous Cannula in an ICU of Public Sector Hospital Pak J Med Sci April - June 2011 (Part-II) Vol. 27 No. 3 660-663

6. Mermel LA. Arterial catheters are not risk-free spigots. Crit Care Med. 2008;36(2):620-622

7. Jean-Christophe Lucet et al, Infectious risk associated with arterial catheters compared with central venous catheters (Crit Care Med 2010; 38:1030–1035)

8. Koh DBC, Gowardman JR, Rickard CM, et al. Prospective study of peripheral arterial catheter infection and comparison with concurrently sited central venous catheters Critical care medicine . 03/2008; 36(2):397-402.

9. Timsit JF, Mimoz O, Mourvillier B, et al: Randomized controlled trial of chlorhexidine dressing and highly adhesive dressing for preventing catheter-related infections in critically ill adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012; 186:1272–1278

10. James D. Chalmers, MD, Stefano Aliberti, MD, Preventing Arterial Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infections: Common Sense and Chlorhexidine (Crit Care Med June 2014;42: 6)

11. Ousmane Traoré, MD, PhD; Jérôme Liotier, MD; Bertrand Souweine, MD, PhD. Prospective Study of Arterial and Central Venous Catheter Colonization and of Arterial-and Central Venous Catheter-Related Bacteremia in Intensive Care Units Crit Care Med 2005;33(6):1276-1280.

12. Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD et al, Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressing for Prevention of Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infection: A Meta Analysis Critical Care Med July 2014 ;42 (7).


Disclaimer: This information is provided for clinical education purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for sound clinical judgment or decision making, or professional experience relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition. Users should review the Instructions For Use for detailed information regarding the Instructions For Use, Contraindications, Potential Adverse Events, Warnings, and Cautions prior to using the device.


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