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Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Jan;19(1):26-30.

A prospective study of femoral versus subclavian vein catheterization during cardiac arrest.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44109.


Femoral vein catheterization has advantages over subclavian vein catheterization during cardiac arrest in that there is minimal interference to ongoing CPR. In addition, risks of subclavian catheterization are not a factor in femoral vein catheterization. Few studies have compared the success rate for catheterization of one site with that of the other during cardiac arrest. We conducted a prospective study to compare the success and complication rates for femoral with those of subclavian vein catheterization. Ninety-four patients undergoing CPR had either femoral or subclavian vein catheters placed during the course of the arrest. Catheter placement was verified by injection of radiopaque contrast material. We found that the success rate for femoral catheterization was 77% compared with a success rate of 94% for subclavian vein catheterization (P less than .05). There were no instances of pneumothorax with subclavian vein catheterization. There was no apparent learning curve leading to an increased success rate during the course of the study. We conclude that femoral vein catheterization should not be used except in those instances where attempts at peripheral and central venous cannulation are unsuccessful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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