Meet Pete, the Groin Crusher

PHILADELPHIA — Nobody ever warns the patients at Pennsylvania Hospital about Pete Schiavo, “The Groin Crusher.”

The first time most people meet Schiavo, they’ve just come out of a coronary procedure and he’s explaining that after the catheters are pulled out of their femoral artery, he’s going to apply pressure to their groin for 20 to 40 minutes to aid in clotting.

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23 Responses to Meet Pete, the Groin Crusher

  1. STW says:

    I don’t remember any of this from my heart cath. However, it doesn’t sound nearly as bad as everything involving a urinary cath. Get one of those stuck and the nurse can lead you around the room fairly easily. (It sounds more amusing after the fact.)

  2. WeeBrowser says:

    I’ve had that applied to me twice and being on the receiving end is not comfortable at all. Not the privacy uncomfortable but almost painful uncomfortable. I had female nurses do it for me and my wife was there both times, so no hanky-panky.

    • D says:

      Dear Wee –

      From a RN who has had to hold pressure in lots of men’s groins, please take my word for it – I have NEVER had the urge for hanky panky with a patient. When you see naked men all day long, few of whom are in good shape, the thrill is gone.

  3. Cederq says:

    Ten Heart caths with five stents. Try lying there with two big black nurses pressing on the entry incision at the femoral arch for up to an hour. At Baptist South Hospital in Montgomery. You do not say anything even hinting at a racist remark. You talk sweet nothings to them…

  4. Mark R says:

    When I had my stent/ heart attack a couple of years ago, the most painful part was the pressure that the nurse put on my groin when she removed the glass catheter from my groin. They have to put pressure on for awhile until a clot forms, while you are on anticlotting meds.

    • anonymous says:

      Yeah I’ve had two heart catherizations and that ‘holding while stopping the stent from bleeding out is very uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. Both of you are casually conversing (Do you ever do any fishing ? Yeah – where do you go ?) when your brain is screaming ‘Some dood has his hands inches from my kachungas – Danger Will Robinson – Danger !!’. Just trying to maintain is pretty tough.

      So you are supposed to be flat on bed so that blood flow does not begin again for at least 6 hours or so after the procedure. Then you move (painfully) out of hospital. And removing that damn bandage is like tearing a hole with a screwdriver. Really sucks man.

  5. TRX says:

    I got an attractive young woman – not necessarily someone you’d want poking around that area with your wife present – with Thumbs of Steel.

    I still think the saucer-sized bruise was more from her thumbs than from any bleeding.

  6. loaded4bear says:

    I had a stent done 5-1/2 years ago. I would have sworn the cath was removed before I woke up. I just don’t remember any of what’s being described.

  7. bogsidebunny says:

    No honkin’ hot female nurse caressing my balls. The pressure applied to me after an angiogram was lying flat for 4 hours with 15 pound sandbag over the femoral artery entry point.

  8. nwoldude says:

    Thank You Lord.

  9. 9Booger says:

    After reading this, very glad they did my cath through my arm

  10. cato1776 says:

    Been through this procedure 5 times. Not fun or painless.

  11. DW says:

    Had mine last November and they must of stopped it while I was under. All I remember is the nurse coming in every ten minutes to check for bleeding. I had to lay flat for two hours before being discharged. They told me if it starts bleeding to put pressure on it for twenty minutes. I had to stop the blood thinning meds four days before the procedure.

  12. Dan says:

    Did heart caths for several years a long time ago. Holding pressure on a hole in the femoral artery post procedure is a necessary act….and one the cardiologist rarely warns the patient about prior to he procedures commencement. It’s also work…. especially if you do several procedures a day.

  13. john biglin says:

    Ha, been there done that twice but it was a she both times to ensure I didn’t bleed out.

  14. Butch says:

    OMG!!! Every one of you above has suffered some sort of heart surgery, just to keep it in generic
    terms. I am now 72 years old. About 30 years ago I learned how taking capsaicin (Cayenne pepper)
    will clean your arteries, and I have been taking it since. My one and only surgery was to take my appendix out when I was 15. Oh, forgot…I had a vasectomy in 1991. Not conventional either, but it worked. Other than those two procedures, no knife has entered my body.

    Instead of dying young and or going through all these useless operations, you should learn to keep your body healthy.

    My main foods are meat, grease and bread. I have eaten that since i was a sprout. I quit chewing tobacco about 4 years ago, smoking stopped in 1977 when store bought cigarettes tasted like shit.
    I had started smoking Camels with no filter and chewing Days O Work at 16. Years old.

    Still drink. Mostly wine now. Beer gives me gout (I learned how to get rid of gout, cut beer back and take some herbs to get rid of the swollen joints) And hard liquor raises my blood pressure.

    So I have learned I can have two 16 oz beers a day and drink a three liter jug of wine every three days and everything works. I fired my last doctor about two years ago. I buy my prescription blood pressure meds from Mexico without a prescription. I haven’t been able to find anything herbal to fix my BP.

    I have never bought any health insurance. Social Security has told me my premiums for Medicare are $240 a month!!! I don’t spend that in a year. I learned how to order a blood test and how to read one. Getting your own blood test at a lab is cheap too. When you go in you tell them you are paying cash and want a big discount and a pretty nurse to do the poking. I always get my wish.

    And I live just outside San Antonio, Texas. I am not off in some remote mountain glen, 40 miles to ride my mule to a town. There are more fake doctors in this city than you can shake a stick at.

    Have you ever noticed that Indians (dot) really have a “fear” of big government? I guess that’s all they ever known and they have no concept of individual freedoms and ingenuity.

  15. Mike_C says:

    Never had a heart cath myself, but did a few in days past, and held a few groins as well. Basically three ways of dealing with that nice big hole (usually 5 or 6 French; 1Fr = 0.33 mm) post-procedure: 1) manually hold pressure; 2) mechanically hold pressure, like with a sandbag; 3) use a sealing device (e.g. Angio-Seal TM) at the end of the procedure.

    Someone manually holding pressure should be able to do so using only two fingers (index and middle usually). The key to this is setting up the bed and patient correctly so that you can more or less lock your arm and fingers, then use your body weight. If you are at an awkward angle and have to rely on muscular strength rather than your skeleton and gravity, then you’re a) doing it wrong, b) gonna get tired.

    Best is to NOT chat with the patient. Silence can be awkward, but better than having people laugh which causes both gross movement and big changes in thoracic/abdominal pressure as they laugh. Losing control of the groin is scary: a LOT of blood comes out of a 2-mm hole in the femoral artery in a very short amount of time. And people, especially fat people, can easily bleed a liter INTO the thigh. As you can imagine, this is not good and also causes one huge and ugly hematoma.

    @STW: your interventional cardiologist probably used an Angio-Seal device on you. As they withdraw the hardware (sheath) they deploy what is basically a mechanical plug made of protein (collagen) and some supporting materials. This obviates the need for groin compression.

    @9Booger: yes, these days the preference is radial access (through the radial artery in the wrist), but depending on what needs to be done, sometimes femoral (groin) access is still necessary.

    For those of you worried about hot female nurses holding your groin. Believe me, there is NOTHING sexy about being in the holding area post-cath. And if you’re healthy enough to come to attention, so to speak, in that environment you were probably too healthy to have even needed a cath. (Atherosclerosis-related ED and coronary disease are manifestations of the same disease.)

    @Nurse D: I hear ya. One of the most unpleasant days I spent in the cath lab was after palpating the groin of a particular patient pre-cath. Guy looked clean (and had been scrubbed down and shaved already by the time I got to him) but still got this horrible crotch funk on my hand that WOULD NOT COME OFF despite repeated scrubs with chlorhexidine, soap, and iodine. I should have known it, because the bad prognostic indicator was having to hold the pannus (floppy belly fat, for you non medical terminology folks) up with my left hand while checking pulses with my right. Ate dinner with a glove on that night, because the crotch funk was making me nauseous each time I brought my fork up close enough to eat. Good times, good times.

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