US Guided Arterial Lines

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February 5, 2013 by EmerJencyWEBB

Mike and Mike, whom some of you know from the US podcast, recently did a spot on US guided radial arterial lines.  A great podcast I hope you check out.  I posted my opinion in the comments section and wanted to share with you guys/gals as well.


My 2 cents…I ALWAYS use US for radial art lines. When art lines are easy, they are really easy and when they are difficult, they are really difficult requiring multiple sticks and sometimes multiple sites. Sometimes it is hard to gauge when you will have easy success. My solution is to do every art line with US. I’m usually in the vessel in 30 seconds after entering skin. The nurses usually haven’t had time to set up the transducer by the time I’m done. AND, you’d be amazed at how tiny and superficial some these arteries are, especially in the hypotensive septic patient. I prefer the short axis approach but for fun switch over to long axis from time to time.  Practice with the US and you’ll be thanking yourself later.  Teach your medical students and interns this technique, and they will be pros in no time!


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