Cardiac Catheterization - Care at Home (Pediatric)

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Your child has had a cardiac catheterization (“cardiac cath”). At the end of the procedure, one of these methods was used to stop the bleeding from the cath site:

  • Holding pressure: Pressure is put on the site to stop bleeding until a clot forms.
  • Perclose: A stitch or two is placed in the artery or vein under the skin to decrease the risk of bleeding. You do not need to have this stitch or stitches removed.
  • Safe-Guard dressing: A dressing that uses air is placed to hold pressure at the cath site. This should be deflated before discharge and remain deflated.
  • Hem-Con Patch: This patch is placed at the catheter site. It will help to prevent bleeding. It will have gauze and clear tape over the patch.

The day of the Procedure

Your child may feel sleepy from the anesthesia or sedation medicine for a few hours. Limit his or her activities for the rest of the day.

Care of the Cath Site

Your child may have some soreness at the cath site for about one week. Bruising can last for 2 weeks. If there is a lump under the skin (hematoma), it can last for up to 6 weeks.

  • Remove the dressing after 24 hours. You may apply a Band-Aid® daily for 1 to 2 days.
  • Keep the site clean and dry. Wash gently with mild soap and water.
  • No tub baths, swimming pools or hot tubs for 3 days. Your child may take a shower or sponge bath 24 hours after the procedure.


Your child may resume normal activity after 48 hours from the time of the procedure, unless the cardiologist or cardiology nurse practitioner tells you otherwise.

Your child may return to school in 48 hours from the time of the procedure, unless the cardiologist or cardiology nurse practitioner tells you otherwise.

When to Call the Cardiologist

Call your child’s cardiologist if the child has any of the following:

  • An oral temperature higher than 101.5 degrees F for 24 hours. (If coils were placed, he or she may have a fever for the first 24 hours.) You may give your child Tylenol® (acetaminophen), Advil® or Motrin® (ibuprofen) for fever.
  • Bleeding or oozing of blood from the cath site. If this happens, your child should lie flat. Apply pressure to the site for 20 minutes. If the bleeding cannot be controlled with pressure, call 911.
  • Increased swelling or a new lump that develops at the cath site.
  • Pain, numbness, tingling, coolness, loss of feeling or change in color or temperature in one leg compared to the other leg.
  • Redness, swelling, drainage or warmth at the cath site.
  • Chest pain, especially after ASD or PFO devices have been placed in the heart. Chest pain may be expected after some procedures like angioplasty or coil or stent placement. However, an echocardiogram may be needed to rule out fluid around the heart.

Call 614-722-2530 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with any questions following your child’s cath procedure.

After hours, on weekends or holidays, please call 614-722-2000 and ask for the cardiology fellow on call.

 Cardiac Catheterization - Care at Home

HH-III-137             11/07, Revised 07/19 | Copyright 2019, Nationwide Children’s Hospital