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Hospital  >  Departments  >  Critical Care Medicine  >  Navigating the ICU  >  What are all those tubes and machines?  >  What are arterial lines?

What are arterial lines?

Many patients in the ICU require frequent monitoring of their blood pressure. The best way to have an accurate and constant measurement of blood pressure is to insert a small line directly into an artery. Arteries in the wrist or groin are most often used for this purpose.

The arterial lines providing blood-pressure measurements may also be used to collect blood for regular testing. This approach helps to avoid puncturing the patient many times during the day.

The insertion and proper maintenance of arterial lines is similar to central lines.

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Location and contact

Critical Care Medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
D-wing, 1st floor
room D1 08
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4522
Fax: 416-480-4999

For information about patients admitted to Sunnybrook's Intensive Care Units, please contact the unit through the hospital switchboard at 416-480-6100