All emergency department attempts at superior vena caval catheterization at Hennepin County Medical Center from 1978 to 1982 in patients less than 13 years of age are reviewed. There were 60 attempts on 41 patients who had life-threatening conditions. Forty-one (68.3%) catheterization attempts were successful, and 37 (90.2%) of the patients had at least one central catheter placed. There were no complications that affected any patient's hospital course or outcome. This series demonstrates that percutaneous central venous catheterization can be performed on seriously ill or injured children, under emergency conditions, with a high rate of success and low incidence of complications.
- vena cava