Parenteral nutrition complication


Intravenous literature: Jardine, L.A., Inglis, G.D.T. and Davies, M.W. (2009) Aspiration of parenteral nutrition–a previously unreported complication of central venous access in an infant: a case report. Neonatal Intensive Care. 22(2), p.18-19.


Introduction The insertion of percutaneous central venous catheters is a common procedure in neonatal intensive care nurseries. Placement of the catheter tip in a large central vein is most desirable. Occasionally, due to difficult venous access, catheter tips are left in places that are less than ideal. Case presentation A female infant with a complicated gastroschisis developed signs of short bowel syndrome post surgery. She was treated with a combination of parenteral nutrition and enteral feeds. A central venous line was inserted through a scalp vein. The tip was noted to be in a vessel at the level of the mandible. She subsequently became unwell with large milky pharyngeal aspirates and episodes of bradycardia. Chest radiography revealed aspiration. The central venous line was removed because of presumed extravasation. This is the first reported case of parenteral nutrition extravasation into the pharynx causing aspiration in an infant. Conclusion This complication may have been prevented by recognising that the tip of the catheter was not correctly placed. When catheters are in unusual positions it may be useful to obtain a second radiograph from a different angle or an ultrasound scan to confirm the positioning of the catheter tip.

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