4 Cardiac Catheterization Nursing Care Plans


Cardiac catheterization is an invasive procedure in which a small flexible catheter is inserted through a vein or artery (usually the femoral vein) into the heart for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It is usually done with angiography as radiopaque contrast media is injected through the catheter and visualization of the blood flow is seen on fluoroscopic monitors. Catheterization allows measurement of blood gases and pressures within the heart chambers and great vessels; measurement of cardiac output; and detection of anatomic defects such as septal defects or obstruction to blood flow.

Therapeutic, or interventional, cardiac catheterizations use balloon angioplasty to correct such defects as stenotic valves or vessels, aortic obstruction (particularly re-coarctation of the aorta), and closure of patent ductus arteriosus.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals for a child who will undergo cardiac catheterization include promoting adequate perfusion, alleviating fear and anxiety, providing teaching and information, and preventing injury. Close monitoring of a child post cardiac catheterization is also crucial for the early identification of complications that will minimize mortality and morbidity rates.

Here are four nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for cardiac catheterization:


  1. Ineffective Peripheral Tissue Perfusion
  2. Hyperthermia
  3. Fear
  4. Risk For Injury

Ineffective Peripheral Tissue Perfusion

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Clot formation at the puncture site

Possibly evidenced by

  • Decreased or absent pulses distal to catheterization site
  • Cool, mottled appearance of the affected extremity
  • Tingling sensation on the affected extremity
  • Pain

Desired Outcomes

  • Child’s involved extremity will be pink and warm.
  • Child will respond to sensation in extremities equally bilaterally.
  • Child’s pulses will be present distal to the catheterization site and equal bilaterally.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess affected extremity, noting its color, temperature, and capillary refill; Palpate distal pulses; Use doppler every 15 minutes for 4 times, every 30 minutes for 3 hours, then every 4 hours.Formation of a clot at the puncture site and the child is at risk of the clots severely obstructing distal blood and resulting in tissue damage. Frequently assessment of the extremity for adequate perfusion enables for prompt intervention as needed.
Encourage bed rest and keep affected extremity straight or slight bend in the knee (10 degrees) for 6 hours.Bed rest and slight, or no flexion, provides improve circulation and minimizes the risk of further trauma which could promote the formation of a clot.
Provide warmth to the opposite extremity.Enhances blood flow without causing risk of increased bleeding at the site.
Inform parents and child of a need for frequent vital signs monitoring and importance of bed rest with an extension of the extremity.Promotes understanding and cooperation.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for cardiovascular system disorders:


Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.