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February 1963

Accidental Loss of Plastic Tube into Venous System

Author Affiliations

Surgery Department, Marion County General Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):177-179. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080001001

This brief report deals with loss of a plastic tube into the venous system after its use for ordinary prolonged intravenous therapy. It sounds a warning of the dangers of this seemingly innocuous and common procedure. We are not including a discussion of accidents with long tube catheterizations of the heart.

Recently, the surgical service of the Marion County General Hospital was asked to see a patient on the medical service in consultation. The problem was new and baffling to us all. The patient, in his forties, had been admitted with delirium tremens. He was given the usual sedatives and continuous drip of glucose solution by indwelling intravenous tubing. After several days of therapy with gradual improvement, the patient decided to sign his own release from our care. At approximately this time, the plastic tubing was severed, and it slipped into the arm vein. A tourniquet was quickly placed about