November 16, 2020

Background Information:

US vs Landmark for Radial Arterial LinesUltrasound guided peripheral and central venous access has become more common while simultaneously decreasing complications and increasing first pass success. Landmark guided palpation has historically been considered the standard of care when placing arterial lines, however the use of ultrasound is challenging that notion as anatomic landmarks are not helpful in 30% of patients.1 Additionally, increasing obesity and hemodynamic instability can make radial arterial line placement even more difficult when using landmark-guided palpation alone. The literature comparing the different methods of arterial line placement is limited to two prospective studies. The first assessed second- and third-year emergency medicine residents while the second study evaluated only four emergency medicine attendings, all with extensive ultrasound training and experience.2,3 The authors of this study sought to compare radial arterial line placement using ultrasound vs landmark guided palpation performed by novice emergency medicine interns with respect to overall success.
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