The Vessel Dilator for Central Venous Catheter Placement: Forerunner for Success or Vascular Misadventure?

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During placement of a central venous catheter (CVC), the vessel dilator and/or combination dilator/sheath-introducer are recognized as potential causative agents in numerous traumatic complications that may be erroneously ascribed to the catheter, placement needle, or guidewire. A review of the literature and device-user survey are offered in support of the need for additional training in safe dilator use, as well as the need to address device labeling and device design.

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