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August 1955

Gangrene of the Extremities in Infants Subsequent to Intravenous Therapy: Precautions in Technique and Report of Five Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Cook County Children's Hospital and the Chicago Medical School.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;90(2):153-158. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.04030010155004

Intravenous therapy for debilitated, cachectic, or septic infants may be the inciting factor in local tissue necrosis and partial or total gangrene of one or more extremities. It is likely that the hazard is greatest in the newborn, especially when birth has been premature. Although untoward consequences to intravenous therapy in children are rare, at the Cook County Children's Hospital, five cases of infant gangrene of the extremities subsequent to cannulization have been gathered since 1948. All instances were in critically sick infants and took place after the procedure hereinafter referred to as cutdown had been performed.

CUTDOWN  Definition.—To obviate the possibility of differences in interpretation owing to local usages, it may be well to define our term.Cutdown is employed to embrace the procedures of venipuncture, incision over the vein, venesuture, and the insertion of a cannula for intravenous therapy, which is usually required for children when major