A technique for percutaneous catheterization of the internal jugular vein in infants and children was used since January 1975 in 206 patients ranging in age from a few hours to 12 years old. The series included 31 premature infants weighing less than 2,500 grams and 107 babies weighing less than 4,000 grams. Five attempts at cannulation failed. Each catheterization procedure required an average of 1.8 needle insertions before the vein was entered. In 129 patients, the first attempt was successful. Sixteen complications related to the procedure occurred early in our experience, seven of which were life-threatening. One death was directly ascribed to the actual insertion of the catheter and mediastinal extravasation of infusion material. Most of the early complications probably could have been avoided if opaque contrast medium had been injected through the catheter immediately after cannulation, in addition to aspirating the blood and lowering the infusion bottle. The 22 late complications were related to infection; one infant died because of catheter sepsis. To minimize septic complications, an arbitrary limit of seven days was set, after which the catheter was replaced. Cannulation of the internal jugular vein in infants and children should be regarded as a serious surgical procedure to be performed by a trained team and only when properly indicated.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Surgery Gynecology and Obstetrics|
|State||Published - 1979|