The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

February 6, 2014

Cutting edge procedure

(Continued)

Mercy staff members then make sure the patient is OK before sending them home an hour later.

If Albaghdadi enters through the groin area, the patient must lay down a minimum of three hours, and cannot leave until after at least 4 1/2 hours. However, Albaghdadi said cases can force the patient to lay still for six to eight hours.

"Also, from a safety standpoint, people bleed more in the groin," Albaghdadi said.

The femoral artery is used often, in part, because of its large size, making it easier for doctors to maneuver balloons, stents and catheters through the body. However, the heavy pressure at the insertion site causes a higher risk for bleeding, including, in some cases, internal bleeding.

According to published medical articles, the femoral artery also can be difficult to access in obese individuals.

But not everyone can utilize the radial artery access method.

"We're not able to fix everything from the wrist," Albaghdadi said. "If I think I'll need other equipment or if the patient already has stents, then I'll likely go through the groin."

If a patient entered the emergency room for a heart attack, Albaghdadi said they would enter through the groin area on those patients, too.

Currently, Albaghdadi said about 40 percent of the cardiovascular catheterization procedures he performs are through the radial artery access method. Of those patients, about 10 percent of those cases need something fixed once Albaghdadi enters the body.

The number of procedures he performs using the radial artery is increasing, though.

"It takes practice," Albaghdadi said. "It's getting more common as more younger guys are getting trained. But it takes some time getting trained. It's not super easy. Experience helps you figure it out."

And Albaghdadi is getting more experienced. He said he typically performs the cardiovascular catheterization about five to 10 times a week, with a little less than half of those using the radial artery method.

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