BACKGROUND Radial access is the preferential access route in patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography. We hypothesised that we could reduce hospital stay and improve patient comfort by accelerated deflation of the radial compression device (Terumo radial band). AIMS The aim of this study was to compare accelerated pressure reduction with a standard Terumo radial band protocol with regard to local
bleeding complications and reported pain scores after cardiac catheterisation. METHODS We performed a single centre prospective randomised trial to compare accelerated care to standard care for patients undergoing diagnostic catheterisation through radial access. Patients in the accelerated care group started deflation after 1 hour, with a 2 ml/10-minute interval. Patients in the standard care group started after 2 hours with additional steps of deflation at 3 and 4 hours. RESULTS Of the 173 analysed patients 86 received accelerated care and 87 patients standard care. A total of 19 patients had pulsatile bleeding, which occurred similarly in the two groups (standard care 11 vs. accelerated care 8, P=0.47). The time to Terumo radial band removal was on average 129 minutes shorter for accelerated care patients compared to standard care (P<0.01). At 1 hour after Terumo radial band placement, accelerated care patients more often reported pain scores of 0 than standard care patients (89% vs. 74%, P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS There was no increase in local bleedings in the accelerated pressure reduction of the Terumo radial band after diagnostic cardiac catheterisation, increasing patient comfort and reducing hospital stay. These findings will further facilitate the widespread implementation of radial access.