IV access and BP monitoring after axillary clearance

17 February 2023

Following a successful six-month pilot, we’ve approved PG18(A) Appendix 1 in our professional document on anaesthesia monitoring.

The final version of the newly developed PG18(A) Appendix 1: Intravenous access and blood pressure monitoring in patients with a prior history of axillary nodal dissection is now available to download as a standalone document and also as part of the full PG18(A). We would like to thank the Document Development Group and everyone who provided feedback during the pilot.
To ensure these revised guidelines are effectively communicated to both practitioners and patients, we’ve produced a new patient information fact sheet, which we’re sharing with relevant colleges and allied healthcare agencies.
The fact sheet explains that patients who’ve undergone axillary clearance have traditionally been advised to avoid having the arm on the affected side used for medical procedures because it was thought this might contribute to the occurrence of lymphoedema (swelling). However, clinical evidence shows that the arm on the affected side can usually be safely used for medical procedures and, in many circumstances, can be better for patient comfort and safety.
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following clinicians in developing this appendix and patient information:
Associate Professor Victoria Eley – PhD, FANZCA (expert group lead); Professor Christobel Saunders, AO, FRCS, FRACS; Associate Professor Pierre Bradley, FANZCA; Ms Joanne Lovelock, Breast Care Nurse Clinical Lead TAS VIC; Ms Rebecca James, Consumer representative; and Dr Peter Roessler, FANZCA, Director of Professional Affairs (Professional Documents).
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Last updated 11:21 17.02.2023