JOURNAL ARTICLE

Central venous catheter placement in children: a prospective study of complications in a Brazilian public hospital

Paulo Custódio F Cruzeiro, Paulo Augusto M Camargos, Marcelo E Miranda
Pediatric Surgery International 2006, 22 (6): 536-40
16736225
Central venous access is frequently used in infants and children with a wide variety of conditions. This report evaluates our experience and the complications from central venous catheters (CVC) placed percutaneously in children at a public hospital of a developing country-Brazil. To identify associated complications, data were collected prospectively and 155 consecutive catheterizations in children at a public hospital over a nearly 8-month period were analyzed. Data collected included sex, age, weight, primary diagnosis, indication for placement, presence of blood coagulation disturbance, hospital department for procedure, type of anesthesia, type of catheter (diameter, lumen number, material), site of catheterization, number of attempts, number of puncture sites, complications during puncture, the time catheter remained in place, later complications (mechanical, infectious) and reason for catheter removal. A total of 155 catheters were placed in 127 patients. There were 130 neck lines and 25 groin lines. The success rate was 81.9% at the initially chosen puncture site and rose to 100% with the inclusion of the second site. Perioperative complications occurred in nine (5.8%) cases, including six (3.9%) hematomas and three (1.9%) arterial puncture. There was no pneumothorax, hemothorax or hydrothorax. During the time the catheter remained in place, there were 51 (32.9%) complications, of which 33 (21.3%) were mechanical and 18 (11.6%) suspected catheter-related infection. These complications were responsible for the removal of the catheter. Despite the relatively high complication rate there were no catheter-related deaths. Body weight was significantly lower for children who underwent more than one puncture site (P=0.01). Age, sex, type of catheter and primary diagnosis were not associated with complications. Knowledge of anatomy and familiarity with the Seldinger technique highly increase the catheterization success rate, with few surgical complications. A better nursing care of CVC is emphasized. The available modern venous catheters at a public hospital in Brazil have contributed to improve the quality of pediatric medical care. Nowadays, the percutaneous CVC is the preferred method in pediatric patients.

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