[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 12, 1972

Complications With Percutaneous Central Venous Catheters

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Cardiology, Shaughnessy Hospital and the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

JAMA. 1972;220(11):1455-1457. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200110035007

The incidence of complications following the insertion of central venous catheters in acute myocardial infarction was determined in 240 cases. All catheters were inserted percutaneously. Infection occurred rarely: one patient was successfully treated for Staphylococcus aureus septicemia and one for a local infection. Phlebitis occurred in 16% of cases. Only four patients had symptomatic subclavian vein thrombosis, yet routine phlebograms in 20 consecutive patients showed four instances of asymptomatic axillary vein thrombosis. Anticoagulant therapy was of no value in preventing thrombus formation.