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Am J Emerg Med. 1988 Nov;6(6):577-9.

Intravascular access in pediatric cardiac arrest.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55415.


All cases of patients aged less than 48 months who presented in cardiac arrest to the Hennepin County Medical Center's emergency department (ED) during the years 1984 to 1986 were reviewed retrospectively. The ED record, initial and subsequent chest radiographs, hospital charts, and autopsy reports were analyzed. A total of 33 cases were reviewed. The average patient age was 5 months. The average time needed to establish intravascular access was 7.9 +/- 4.2 minutes. Success rates were 77% for central venous catheterization, 81% for surgical vein cutdown, 83% for intraosseous infusion, and 17% for percutaneous peripheral catheterization. Percutaneous peripheral catheterization, when successful, and bone marrow needle placement were the fastest methods of obtaining intravascular access. There were no major immediate complications, and delayed complications were minimal. Attempts at peripheral intravenous catheter placement should be brief, with rapid progression to intraosseous infusion if peripheral attempts are not successful.

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