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J Hosp Med. 2011 Jan;6(1):33-6. doi: 10.1002/jhm.696. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Short-term femoral vein catheterization rarely causes thrombosis or bacteremia.

Author information

1
Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Experts and national regulatory bodies have deemed femoral vein catheterization (FVC) unsafe, and recommend avoiding it whenever possible.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess rates of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBI) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) complicating FVC.

DESIGN:

Prospective observational cohort study.

SETTING:

Medical intensive care unit (MICU) of a 350-bed community teaching hospital.

PATIENTS:

Consecutive admissions to the MICU during 7 months.

METHODS:

Demographic, laboratory and Doppler ultrasound studies were collected on patients receiving large vein catheters (VC) in our MICU. Ultrasound examinations were systematically performed on the day of and 5 to 7 days after removal of FVC.

RESULTS:

VC were inserted in 238 (35% of) patients. Of that total, 217 catheters were in large veins (49% FVC, 38% internal jugular and 13% subclavian) for an average of 2.7 days for femoral, 5.7 days for internal jugular and 3.6 days for subclavian vein catheters. During 1200 catheter-days, no central VC CRBI was identified. Of 107 FVC, initial and follow-up Doppler studies were performed in 50 patients. A total of 97% of patients received routine thromboprophylaxis and none had a DVT. Of the 57 patients with initial but no Doppler follow-up at 5 to 7 days following removal, no patient developed clinically detected venous thromboembolism (VTE).

CONCLUSION:

Short-term FVC was used safely in our MICU in the setting of thromboprophylaxis. In light of its favorable safety profile for initial resuscitation of critically ill patients, it may be premature to strongly discourage FVC.

PMID:
20578050
DOI:
10.1002/jhm.696
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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