The success rate and safety of internal jugular vein cannulation using anatomical landmark technique in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery

Deepak K Tempe, Sanjula Virmani, Jyotsna Agarwal, Manisha Hemrajani, Subodh Satyarthy, Harpreet Singh Minhas
Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia 2013, 16 (1): 16-20

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Landmark-guided internal jugular vein (IJV) cannulation is a basic procedure, which every anesthetist is expected to acquire. A successful first attempt is desirable as each attempt increases the risk of complications. The present study is an analysis of 976 IJV cannulations performed in adults undergoing cardiothoracic surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The IJV was cannulated with a triple lumen catheter using the anatomical landmarks. The following data were recorded: Patient demographics, age, sex, body mass index, diagnosis, operative procedure, operator (resident/consultant), site of cannulation (central approach, right IJV, left IJV, external jugular vein), number of attempts and duration of cannulation, length of insertion of the catheter, number of correct placements on X-ray and any complications.

RESULTS: The success rate of IJV cannulation was 100%. In 809 (82.9%) patients, cannulation was performed in the first attempt. Residents performed 792 cannulations and the consultants performed 184 cannulations. In 767 patients, the residents were successful in inserting the catheter and in 25 they failed after 5 attempts, hence, they were cannulated by the consultant. The time taken for insertion of the catheter was 6.89 ± 3.2 minutes. Carotid artery puncture was the most common complication, it occurred in 22 (2.3%) patients.

CONCLUSION: IJV cannulation with landmark technique is highly successful with minimal complications in the adult patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. Basic training of cannulating the IJV by landmark technique should be imparted to all the traines as ultrasound may not be available in all locations.

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