A client has just returned from a cardiac catheterization with access via the femoral artery. Which position or activity should the nurse anticipate the health care provider will order for this client?

  1. bed rest with bathroom privileges
  2. bed rest with head of bed at 45 degrees
  3. ambulation to prevent blood clot formation
  4. bed rest with head of bed at 30 degrees or less
  5. up to chair with assistance if the client is steady on his feet
Number 4 is correct.
Rationale: In the immediate post-catheterization phase, the client remains on bed rest for 4 to 6 hours with the accessed extremity kept straight until hemostasis is achieved. The client would not have bathroom privileges during this period and should be offered the bedpan or urinal as needed. Keeping the head of the bed at 45 degrees would place too much pressure on the access site. Ambulation to prevent clot formation occurs only after bed rest time is up and hemostasis is achieved. Frequent inspection of the femoral site for hematoma, oozing, or frank bleeding is a priority throughout the recovery process.