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February 28, 1972

External Jugular Vein Access to Central Venous System

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore

JAMA. 1972;219(9):1216-1217. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350052030

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To the Editor.—  Why not the external jugular vein as access to the central venous system?Three issues of The Journal (July 5, July 12, and Oct 4, 1971) have LETTERS on access routes to the central venous system. These contributions have discussed the pros and cons of the subclavian and internal jugular percutaneous puncture. The potential hazards of pneumothorax, hemothorax, and carotid artery hemorrhage have been considered. There is no question that these procedures can and are carried out with a very acceptable degree of morbidity in most hospitals. However, to many physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, and anesthetists, this route is "too hazardous to the seriously ill," or "too difficult for me to remain proficient in— with only intermittent usage."We have therefore been encouraged to reevaluate the external jugular route to the central venous system. We displayed our results to date at the American College of Surgeons Convention in