Effect of Head Position on the Location of Venous Catheters Inserted via Basilic Veins

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Twenty-three to 35 per cent of catheters inserted through basilic arm veins for measurement of central venous pressure (CVP) are inaccurately placed. Of incorrectly placed catheter tips, 45 to 67 per cent lie in the internal jugular vein rather than in a central intrathoracic vein.1–3 It has been suggested that to prevent the catheter tip from entering the internal jugular vein, the patient's head should be turned toward the arm of insertion.2–4 However, there has been no report of the effects of head positions on catheter locations. Therefore, we analyzed the locations of 100 central venous pressure catheters to determine the effect of position of the head during catheter insertion.

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