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Radial artery puncture animated demonstration « Back to Videos

Equipment needed

The equipment for radial artery puncture includes:


Absolute contraindications include:

Relative contraindications include:


Arterial blood gas sampling is used together with clinical assessment, venous blood samples, imaging, and physiological tests to help with diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring the response to treatment in a variety of clinical settings. When radial puncture is not possible, the femoral artery provides an alternative – for example, in the peri-arrest situation, or when the patient has a contraindication to radial puncture.

Several parameters of arterial blood are measured from the sample, including:


Complications include:


Maintain pressure over the arterial puncture site for several minutes. This action can be delegated to an assistant, while the person who performed the procedure carefully disposes of the sharps, labels the specimen, and organises for it to be analysed.

Check the patient several minutes after the procedure to make sure that the perfusion of the extremity is adequate and the arterial puncture site is not haemorrhaging or forming a haematoma.

Send the sample for analysis immediately, labelling and documenting the inspired oxygen concentration clearly.

Normal values for arterial blood vary slightly in each laboratory and machine, and these values should be cross-referenced when interpreting the results of arterial blood gas analysis. Some blood gas analysers also need the patient’s temperature.

An unexpected or very abnormal result may indicate serious pathology or indicate that a venous sample was taken.

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