Multiple purpose central venous access in infants less than 1,000 grams

Brad W. Warner, Pat Gorgone, Sue Schilling, Michael Farrell, Mary Jo Ghory

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32 Scopus citations


The use of central venous catheters in low birthweight infants has been associated with a high rate of infectious and mechanical-related complications. We reviewed our experience with multipurpose central venous catheters in infants <1,000 g to determine the rate of catheter-related sepsis and mechanical catheter malfunction. From October 1981 to August 1984, 20 infants (average weight 778 g) underwent placement of 22 central venous Broviac catheters. In addition to parenteral nutrition, antibiotics, aminophylline, and replacement fluids were infused. Total catheter days were 961, with an average of 44 days per catheter. Primary catheter sepsis occurred with two catheters (9%). Mechanical complications occurred with six catheters (exposed cuff, 1; catheter break, 2; catheter reposition, 1; catheter thrombosis, 1; dehiscence of cutdown site, 1). The incidence of catheter-related sepsis was acceptably low. The high incidence of mechanical catheter malfunction (6/22, 27%) resulted in minimal morbidity to the infant and could have been avoided by better operative technique, proper positioning intraoperatively, and meticulous care of the catheter post-operatively. We conclude that multipurpose long-term central venous access can be safely utilized with the Broviac catheter in infants <1,000 g.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-822
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1987


  • Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
  • central venous catheter


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