PCI via the radial artery: what is the learning curve? Michael S Norell, Angela Hoye Introduction A ssessing the process by which a new approach is adopted requires an appreciation of the climate into which that change is introduced. We are an average UK interventional centre in terms of volume (650 cases per year), under pressure to increase throughput in the face of competing demands for the time of both consultant and specialist registrar (SpR) trainee operators. We were attracted to the notion of the radial approach because we thought that it might enhance day-case activity when the number of beds available for elective cases was declining. Although femoral arterial closure devices might also address this, our experience has indicated that their impact is less predictable. Some patients may still have to stay in hospital overnight because of a groin problem, even though the interventional procedure itself was uneventful. All our consultant operators are well trained in the Sones technique, but this procedure is itself not without diagnostic and interventional activity, provides a refreshing change. There is a clear advantage to the patient, catheter lab and ward staff, and the ever-more-senior operator will be reassured to know that he is still capable of taking on change.
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