Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of pressure bandaging in reducing bleeding and bruising in patients undergoing coronary angiography and to investigate the contribution that pressure bandages make to patient discomfort after angiography.
Design: A prospective multicenter, randomized study.
Setting: Three university hospitals in Melbourne, Australia.
Patients: One thousand seventy-five patients undergoing coronary angiography were randomized to receive a pressure bandage (N = 556) or no bandage (N = 519) after manual compression of the right femoral artery puncture site.
Results: Patients without pressure bandages had a higher incidence of bleeding (P < 0.05) and bled earlier (mean 2.4 hours; SD 3.6 hours) after catheter removal (P < 0.001) than patients with bandages (mean 5.3 hours; SD 3.8 hours). The incidence of bleeding in patients without pressure bandages was 6.7%. The incidence and extent of bruising was the same for both groups. Patients with pressure bandages experienced a higher incidence of back (P < 0.05), groin (P < 0.001), and leg pain (P < 0.001), nausea (P < 0.05) and urinary difficulty (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: In view of the associated increase in patient discomfort and the delay in time of onset of bleeding, pressure bandages should not be used routinely in the management of patients after coronary angiography, especially in the context of early discharge from the hospital.