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Expect the unexpected: malposition of a large-bore central venous catheter in the urinary bladder.

We report the case of a femoral vein cannulation in a critically ill trauma patient with the malposition of a large-bore central venous catheter in the urinary bladder. Recognition of the malposition was hampered by bloody tamponade of the bladder in the context of blunt thoraco-abdominal trauma with kidney and liver laceration. A high index of clinical suspicion and the institution of adequate therapy were the key to achieving a successful clinical outcome. We discuss the anatomy of femoral veins, including their close relation to a distended bladder. The application of ultrasound even in emergency situations is stressed.

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