Complication rates of central venous catheters in newborns



BACKGROUND: In the current medical practice, central venous catheters (CVC) are very useful; however, their use involves certain risks, which increase morbidity and mortality, especially in newborns. The aim of this study was to describe both the frequency of complications and survival of CVC placed in newborns hospitalized in a third level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

METHODS: A descriptive, observational and prospective study was carried-out in the NICU from the Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI. Demographic, perinatal and CVC variables were recorded.

RESULTS: We included 152 CVCs, which were inserted in 123 newborns. For the CVC insertion, the puncture technique was used in 56.6 % (n = 86). There was at least one complication in 48.7 %.(n = 74). The most frequent complications were colonization 32.4 % (n = 24) and CVC-related bacteremia in 27 % (n = 20). Survival probability for CVC was 93.4 % at 10 days and 91.4 % at 17 days. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated significantly lower survival probability for non-central catheters.

CONCLUSIONS: Most of CVC complications occurred within the first two weeks after these CVC were installed. Infectious complications were the most frequent.


García, H.J. and Torres-Yáñez, H.L. (2015) Survival and complication rate of central venous catheters in newborns. Revista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. 53(Suppl 3), p.S300-S309. .

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