Paper Type

Doctoral Project


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Kathaleen C. Bloom

Second Advisor

Dr. Michele S. Bednarzyk

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Lillia M. Loriz

Department Chair

Dr. Gerard Hogan

College Dean

Dr. Pamela S. Chally


Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common cardiac arrhythmia in persons over age 65, is associated with an increased stroke risk necessitating the need for long-term oral anticoagulation for risk reduction. With the introduction of direct thrombin and factor Xa inhibitors in the US since 2010, these novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are increasingly being prescribed, replacing the use of warfarin, a vitamin K antagonist. AF catheter ablation (CA), an elective procedure requiring femoral vascular access is a treatment for drug refractory and persistent AF. Bedrest, limb immobilization, and limited head of bed elevation are nursing measures utilized following femoral venous, and sometimes arterial, sheath removal and hemostasis. Limited research is available on the appropriate duration of bedrest to minimize bleeding complications associated with AF ablation in patients who use NOACs. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to compare and evaluate the effect of bedrest duration on post-procedure bleeding outcomes, urinary complaints, and back pain among patients taking NOACs while undergoing AFCA.

Thirty patients undergoing elective AFCA on NOACs were orally consented to participate in the study and placed on shortened (8 hours) or prolonged (>8 hours) bedrest following vascular hemostasis. Outcome measurements included bleeding after ambulation, back pain, and urinary complaints. Fifteen patients (50%) were on shortened bedrest and 15 (50%) were on prolonged bedrest. No statistically significant difference in bleeding, urinary complaints, or back pain were found. Since there is no clear advantage to prolonged bedrest for patients on NOACS after an AFCA procedure, clinicians should consider this when deciding on bedrest duration for their patients.