October 17, 2012

The Problem With Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Drs Chopra, Flanders, and Saint); and Patient Safety Enhancement Program, Hospital Outcomes Program of Excellence, and VA Center for Clinical Management Research at Ann Arbor VA Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Drs Chopra and Saint).

JAMA. 2012;308(15):1527-1528. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.12704

Central venous catheters (CVCs) provide reliable venous access for tasks as diverse as delivery of medication, laboratory testing, and hemodynamic monitoring and occupy a fundamental role in the management of seriously ill patients. However, despite their many benefits, CVCs are not innocuous and are associated with important complications. Among these, central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and venous thromboembolism are significant because they are difficult to detect, increase the cost of care, and are potentially life-threatening adverse events.

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