Aim: To estimate the frequency of pericardial effusion/cardiac tamponade associated with the use of neonatal percutaneous long lines (PLLs) over the past five years.
Method: A retrospective nationwide postal survey, of all neonatal and special care units in the United Kingdom.
Results: Eighty two cases of pericardial effusion/cardiac tamponade were reported from the five year period, during which we estimate that 46 000 PLLs were inserted. The calculated frequency of pericardial effusion/cardiac tamponade occurring with PLLs was 1.8/1000 lines. There were 30 deaths, giving a fatality rate after pericardial effusion of 0.7/1000 lines.
Conclusions: Pericardial effusion/cardiac tamponade is a serious but infrequent complication of PLL use.
- percutaneous long line
- pericardial effusion
- cardiac tamponade
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