Percutaneous Central Venous Catheterization in Premature Infants: A Method for Facilitating Insertion of Silastic Catheters via Peripheral Veins

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Peripheral venous cannulation is the preferred method of inserting central venous silastic catheters in premature infants. The standard techniques are placement of the catheter using a breakaway introducer needle or introduction of the catheter through a cannula. In extremely low birth weight infants (<1000 g) successful cannulation is impeded by the small size of the vessels. After repeated attempts, both procedures can be time-consuming and stressful to the infant. We present a modified insertion technique of the standard 2-French silastic catheter with an increased success rate, thus reducing insertion time, stress to the infant, and costs. The method uses the tip of a 20-gauge cannula as dilator/introducer for the 2-French catheter. This tip is inserted into the vessel with a standard 24-gauge cannula. After successful insertion of the dilator/introducer cannula, the standard 2-French catheter can then be advanced easily. Pediatrics 1998;101:477-479.

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