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J Pediatr. 1997 Mar;130(3):442-6.

Femoral venous access is safe in burned children: an analysis of 224 catheters.

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Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



To document the incidence of septic and mechanical complications associated with femoral venous catheters in a subgroup of patients thought to be at particularly high risk of both: young children with large burns.


An analysis of data collected prospectively on all femoral venous catheters placed during a 4-year period at a regional pediatric burn facility.


There were 224 femoral catheters placed in 86 children with an average age of 5.3 +/- 5.1 years and an average burn size of 38% +/- 23%. Catheters were left in place for a mean duration of 5.7 days. Catheter-related sepsis occurred with 4.9% of the catheters, and mechanical complications occurred in 3.5% of the patients. There was no statistically significant association between the risk of catheter sepsis and the placement of catheters through burned versus unburned skin. Similarly, the risk of sepsis was equivalent between lines placed over a guide wire and those placed of a new site.


Femoral venous catheters are safe in burned children and are associated with a low incidence of infectious and mechanical complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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