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Despite advancements in technology and medication therapy, coronary artery disease continues to remain the number one cause of death. Treatment for coronary artery disease requires life style modifications, medication therapy, percutaneous coronary interventions, and sometimes coronary artery bypass surgery. Though percutaneous coronary interventions are considered safe and are commonly occurring procedures, there are still risks for complications. One of the most frequently occurring complications is hematoma of the femoral artery site. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an increased incidence of hematomas in individuals undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with associated sheath times of less than five hours (Group A) as compared to sheath time of greater than five hours (Group B). The study used a retrospective, two group design and was conducted at a tertiary care center that performs over 1500 PCI’s annually. Inclusion criteria included adults over the age of 18 who were hemodynamically stable, had no known bleeding disorders, and were punctured once at the femoral artery to perform the percutaneous intervention. Two hundred fifty medical records were reviewed utilizing a data collection tool designed by the researcher. Total sample size was 55, 21 in Group A and 34 in Group B. Six hematomas were documented as occurring, but were not reportable based on the ACC definition. Hematomas were documented in the medical record using the terms “small”, “medium,” and “large” versus an objective measurement. No hematomas were identified using the ACC definition, which was the measurement standard for this research hospital. Sheath times in Group A averaged 4.02 hours, and group B 7.42 hours. There was a higher incidence of descriptive hematoma that did not meet the criteria of this study in Group B. Results call for recommendations of on-going documentation of post procedure hematomas using a standardized, reliable, and valid measuring tool. APRN’s can be instrumental in implementing change in patient care , hospital policy and on the national level by assuring that hematomas are accurately and consistently documented. Further research is indicated related to sheath times and potential associated negative outcomes.

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