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January 1983

Infections Associated With Subclavian Uldall Catheters

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Infectious Diseases (Dr Sherertz) and Nephrology (Drs Mattern, Falk, and Huffman), Departments of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology (Ms Thomann), University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Drs Falk and Huffman are now with the University of Minnesota School of Medicine; Dr Sherertz is now with the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(1):52-56. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350010054011

• During a 12-month period, the use of a subclavian vein Uldall catheter (UC) for hemodialysis or plasmapheresis in 27 patients was studied prospectively. Ten patients had ten UC site infections. Organisms associated with these infections included Staphylococcus epidermidis (five), Staphylococcus aureus (four), Proteus mirabilis (two), and Enterococcus (one). The four S aureus infections occurred 1, 2, 4, and 9 days after UC insertion, whereas the five S epidermidis infections occurred 6, 17, 17, 26, and 97 days after insertion. Five patients had associated bacteremias; in one of these patients, the bacteremia was the major cause of death. The incidence of UC site infection and bacteremia based was higher than the incidence of infection reported with any other type of vascular access for hemodialysis. Further studies are necessary to define whether the UC should be routinely employed for temporary vascular access.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:52-56)

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