August 1957

Fatal Intracardiac Embolization from Indwelling Intravenous Polyethylene Catheter

Author Affiliations

Manhasset, N. Y.
From the Department of Surgery, State University of New York Medical College, New York City and Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(2):259-262. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280140097017

Embolization by an indwelling intravenous polyethylene catheter used for prolonged parenteral infusion has been reported previously.1,2 The importance of this problem pointed up by a case of my own prompted this report. An abstract of the case follows.

Report of Case  A 33-year-old white man, a butcher, was admitted with a three-day history of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. The history and physical examination were indicative of acute appendicitis with peritonitis. At operation a perforated gangrenous appendix with generalized peritonitis was found. The appendix was removed and the stump inverted into the cecum. The incision was closed in layers without drainage with interrupted silk sutures. The postoperative course was stormy and febrile, with daily temperatures to 103 or 104 F.Ten days later the patient was reoperated upon because of intermittent small-bowel mechanical obstruction secondary to adhesions, unrelieved by intestinal intubation. These adhesions were lysed. A large collection

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