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Learning from errors
The importance of being earnest; in haemostasis after femoral venepuncture
  1. Gwilym Morris1,
  2. Katie Clarke2,
  3. Imran Satia3,
  4. Sarfraz Khan2
  1. 1Cardiovascular Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Core Technology Facility, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Cardiology Department, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Preston, UK
  3. 3Respiratory Department, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Imran Satia, imransatia{at}


Femoral vein phlebotomy is a commonly used technique to obtain venous blood in situations where peripheral venous access is not possible. It is often performed by junior medical staff members and there is little formal teaching of the technique. There are no good research articles on safe postprocedural management or of complication rates. Furthermore, few medical textbooks deal with the procedure beyond demonstration of the femoral neurovascular anatomy. Information available recommends compression times of between 3–15 min following femoral arterial blood sampling in patients with normal coagulation parameters.1 2 There are no guidelines available in the literature for compression times following femoral venous puncture. The authors report a case of life threatening occult haemorrhage following apparently unsuccessful femoral venepuncture. This case demonstrates the importance of post procedural care in all cases of invasive central venous access.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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