Inadvertent arterial placement of central venous access devices despite ultrasound guidance

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Intravenous literature: Togashi, K., Nandate, K., Hoaglan, C., Sherman, B. and Bowdle, A. (2013) A Multicenter Evaluation of a Compact, Sterile, Single-Use

Pressure Transducer for Central Venous Catheter Placement. Anesthesia and Analgesia. March 14th. [Epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Inadvertent arterial placement of a large-bore catheter during attempted placement of a central venous catheter (CVC) occurs at a rate of 0.1% to 1.0% and may result in hemorrhage, pseudoaneurysm, stroke, or death. Ultrasound guidance or observation of color and pulsatility of blood are not reliable methods for avoiding this serious complication. Measurement of pressure in the needle or short plastic catheter before insertion of the guidewire has been shown to be highly reliable; however, traditional pressure measurement methodology is cumbersome. Recently a compact, sterile, single-use pressure transducer with an integrated digital display has become available. In this study, we evaluated the performance of this new device (Compass® Vascular Access).

METHODS: In this prospective, observational study at 4 academic medical centers 298 CVCs were placed. Pressure was measured using the Compass transducer before and after guidewire insertion. Other details of the procedure were at the discretion of the clinician. Data describing the CVC placement and any complications were collected.

RESULTS: Trainees placed 279 of 298 CVCs. Ultrasound guidance was used for 286 of 298 CVCs. Seven of the CVC placements occurred in the intensive care unit, with the balance occurring in the operating room. Ten of the CVCs were placed in a subclavian vein, with the balance being internal jugular vein. Two hundred seventy-four of 298 CVCs were placed on the right side. Venous pressure measured before and after guidewire insertion was 7.2 ± 4.3 (SD) and 6.5 ± 4.3 (SD) mm Hg respectively (P = 0.03). The satisfaction score recorded by the physician performing the procedure was 8.0 ± 2.1 (SD; visual analog scale 1-10, 10 being most satisfying). There were 5 inadvertent arterial punctures (1.7%). Ultrasound guidance was used in all 5 cases of arterial puncture. All of the arterial punctures were recognized before guidewire insertion by measurement of arterial pressure with the Compass transducer. No guidewires or CVC catheters were placed in arteries.

CONCLUSION: The Compass pressure transducer for CVC placement performed as intended in 298 cases from 4 academic medical centers. There were 5 inadvertent arterial punctures despite the use of ultrasound guidance, all of which were correctly identified by pressure measurement using the Compass. The device was easily used by trainees, and users expressed a positive level of satisfaction.

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