Influence of arm position on catheter placement during real-time ultrasound-guided right infraclavicular proximal axillary venous catheterization†

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Abstract

Background

Real-time ultrasound-guided infraclavicular proximal axillary venous catheterization is used in many clinical situations and provides the advantages of catheter stabilization, a reduced risk of catheter-related infection, and comfort for the patient without limitation of movement. However, unintended catheter tip dislocation and accidental arterial puncture occur occasionally. This study was designed to investigate the influence of arm position on catheter placement and complications.

Methods

Patients were randomized to either the neutral group (n=240) or the abduction group (n=241). In the neutral group, patients were positioned with the head and shoulders placed in an anatomically neutral position and the arms kept by the side during catheterization. In the abduction group, the right upper arm was abducted at 90° from the trunk during catheterization. After real-time ultrasound-guided catheterization was carried out in the right infraclavicular proximal axillary vein, misplacement of the catheter and all complications were evaluated with ultrasound and chest radiography.

Results

The success rate of complete catheterization before evaluating the placement of the catheter was high in both groups (97.1 vs 98.8%, P=not significant). The incidence of accidental arterial puncture was not different (1.7 vs 0%, P=not significant). The incidence of misplacement of the catheter was higher in the neutral group than in the abduction group (3.9 vs 0.4%, P=0.01). There were no complications, such as haemothorax, pneumothorax, or injury to the brachial plexus and phrenic nerve, in either group.

Conclusions

Upper arm abduction may minimize the risk of misplacement of the catheter during real-time ultrasound-guided infraclavicular proximal axillary venous catheterization.

Clinical trial registration

The trial was registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of Korea: https://cris.nih.go.kr/cris/index.jsp. Identifier: KCT0001417

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