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Arterial lines


Unfortunately for me I've had a trip to critical care with an asthma attack and with that came numerous arterial lines/attempts. In the end I had one in my right foot and right wrist(at different times of course!) but had multiple attempts at getting one in my left wrist. My foot and right wrists have healed well and apart from a bit of bruising are fine however my left wrist is killing, its black and blue to nearly half at down my arm, is slightly swollen and hurts to move.

Has anyone else experienced this? I came out of CCU over a week ago so would have expected it to have improved. I keep trying to make doctors look at it but the best I get is a sympathetic look and oh that must hurt (you don't say!!). I'm pretty sure it's not infected... I'm just looking for some helpful advice on how to care for it/ has anyone experienced this before?

Hope everyone is staying well and enjoying the sunshine!


2 Replies

Hi Ally18

So sorry to hear about your attack, I'm glad to hear you've made it out of CCU.

From my experience A-line sites can be a swine to heal. If you think about it, we have them when we are really ill, need them right away and our bodies aren't playing nicely!

I've found that A-lines can take 2-3 weeks to stop feeling odd inside from all the prodding around and the spectacular bruising can take longer, especially with all the steroids we are usually living on.

Personally I always consider if my arm/leg feels hot rather than just sore and if the swelling goes hard as signs of possible infection - same thing applies for canula sites too. If you have any signs like that speak to a sympathetic nurse and they will assess your arm and refer the doctor to review if necessary.

IK do hope you get home soon and get over the trauma of your terrible attack.

Sending you virtual hugs,



I've had a few arterial lines and I find they can take weeks to settle down, as MoominMama said. I had one which was particularly bad; I used a cold compress and kept my arm a little elevated which I think helped a bit.

Hope you're staying well and getting closer to being discharged


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