Despite a trend toward a reduction in bedrest time after left heart catheterization (LHC) in many Canadian centres, an evidence-based standard of practice has not been established. Canadian bedrest times range from two to four hours post-LHC. Two recent prospective non-randomized studies (n = 1,000) indicate safety of ambulation at 60 and 90 minutes post-LHC.
The purpose of this study was to determine safety of ambulating patients at 90 minutes post-LHC sheath removal compared to the current practice of ambulation at three to four hours post-sheath removal.
The study was a prospective non-concurrent design with a retrospective control. METHOD/SAMPLE: Retrospective data from the APPROACH database and chart reviews were analyzed for a period of six months for the control group on the traditional three- to four-hour ambulation protocol (n = 402). Prospective data were gathered for six months for the experimental group (n = 193).
There was no difference in complication rates for the two groups.
The results suggest that early ambulation for selected patients at 90 minutes is safe and has the potential to increase both patient comfort and quality of care.