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March 1966

Countercurrent Venoclysis

Author Affiliations

From the Thoracic Surgical Unit, City Hospital, Nottingham.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(3):423. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320210103022

NOT INFREQUENTLY a patient requires a prolonged period of intravenous drips in order to supply the electrolyte and water requirements, and also for medication. Intensive Care Units, in particular, face this problem more often than the rest of the hospital departments. One by one, the basilic, the cephalic, the median cubital, the accessory cephalic, the median antebrachial, and the lesser unnamed veins of the forearm may be used up and left thrombosed, incapable of accepting yet another drip. The superficial veins of the lower limb may be in the same sad state or the operator may not be disposed to engage these veins; the risk of deep vein thrombosis and consequent embolic phenomena is quite real in the lower limb.

Under these circumstances, one may appraise the suitability of the veins of the dorsum of the hand. One to three veins of a suitable caliber may be seen. In the

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