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Technique for insertion of percutaneous central venous catheters in the newborn period
  1. G Bayley
  1. Bristol School of Anaesthesia, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Bayley, Department of Anaesthetics, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Marlborough Street, Bristol, UK;

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The use of percutaneous central venous catheters is of proven value for the provision of parenteral nutrition and intravenous drug treatment in neonates. They have become an integral part of the management of very low birthweight infants in most intensive care units.

At the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne we used a silastic catheter, which has an external diameter of 0.6 mm and comes in a variety of different lengths (Epicutaneo-cava catheter manufactured by Vygon; lengths 15, 30, and 50 cm; ref nos 2184.015, 2184.00, and 2184.005; cost AU$59.10). It is packaged with a metal 19 GA butterfly needle for use in insertion of the line.

This technique has some drawbacks.

  1. The 19 GA needle is difficult to put directly into neonatal veins because of its large size.

  2. It can be difficult to appreciate “flash …

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