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Discharge advice for patients following transradial coronary angiography

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What happened during this procedure?

During your coronary angiogram, a small hole was made in the artery going to the arm, which heals itself after the catheter is taken out.

How should I care for my wound at home?

Rest your arm on the day of procedure and avoid using your arm for the next 24 hours.

You may remove the dressing 24 hours after the procedure.

Will it hurt?

As the anaesthetic wears off you may feel some discomfort in your arm. Painkillers such as Paracetemol should help with this if needed.

You may find you have a small bruise around the site. This will fade over the next few days.

Should I limit my activities?

  • Avoid hot showers for 24 hours and hot baths for 48 hours (hot water encourages bleeding).
  • Do not lift any heavy objects or do anything that exerts pressure for up to a week.
  • Do not drive for two to three days following your angiogram.

In general, patients find it more comfortable to take a few days off work after a coronary angiogram. If you have a manual job then we would advise that you take a week off work.

What should I look for?

In the highly unlikely situation of your wound starting to bleed use your thumb to press hard over the dressing. This should stop the bleeding in 10 minutes. Then keep your arm rested on a pillow for an hour.

If it does not stop bleeding in 10 minutes continue to press on the wound site and get your partner, or whoever is with you, to call the ambulance service using 999. Tell them that you are bleeding and that you have had a coronary angiogram.

What happens next?

A detailed report will be sent to your GP.

If the hospital Doctor would like you to be seen again in the outpatients clinic an appointment will be sent to you by post.

Please refer to the Angioplasty booklet you have been given.

Feel free to chat to your nurse about any concerns you may have or any health questions.

Please see below for the Cardiac Care Unit contact details.

Contact details for the Cardiac Care Unit.

If you have any concerns about your wrist site, or specific to your cardiac procedure during your first week at home, please call the Cardiac Care Unit.

Telephone number: 01273 696955, extension 4484. You can call this number at any time.

For more general concerns please speak to your GP.

The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: October 2020

Review Date: March 2023

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