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Impact of Local Forearm Heating on Pain Intensity and Hemorrhage in Patients Undergoing Radial Artery Cardiac Catheterization: A Pilot Study.

BACKGROUND: Radial artery cardiac catheterization is a common diagnostic and interventional procedure for cardiovascular conditions. Pain and hemorrhage at the access site can cause patient discomfort and complications. This pilot study investigates the potential of local forearm heating to reduce pain and hemorrhage in patients undergoing radial artery cardiac catheterization.

METHODS: We enrolled 100 patients scheduled for radial artery cardiac catheterization and randomly assigned them to the heating or control group. The heating group received local forearm heating before sheath removal, while the control group did not. Pain intensity was assessed with a visual analog scale, and hemorrhage was measured by assessing ecchymosis or hematoma size at the catheterization site. Hemodynamic parameters were also monitored. Statistical analysis compared outcomes between the groups.

RESULTS: Patients who received local forearm heating had significantly lower pain intensity (4.15 ± 2.73) compared to the control group (5.84 ± 3.34) (P =.009). Hemodynamic parameters and the extent of hemorrhage at the catheterization site did not significantly differ between the heating and control groups (P >.05). No adverse effects related to forearm heating were reported.

CONCLUSION: Local forearm heating is a promising intervention to reduce pain intensity without increasing hemorrhage or affecting hemodynamic parameters during radial artery cardiac catheterization. This simple, noninvasive approach has the potential to enhance patient comfort and safety post procedure.

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