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Complications of Subclavian Vein Catheterization

BRADLEY E. SMITH, MD; JEROME H. MODELL, MD; MARGARET L. GAUB, MD; FRANK MOYA, MD
Arch Surg. 1965;90(2):228-229. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320080052011.
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DURING THE PAST two years, central venous pressure catheters inserted into the subclavian vein have been utilized in the treatment of over 200 patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital. We have found that the monitoring of central venous pressure is of value not only in patients undergoing extracorporeal circulation, but also in general surgical and medical patients with problems such as hypotension, hypovolemia, circulatory failure, and during massive fluid replacement.

Placement of a catheter into the subclavian vein, as described by Wilson and associates,1 is an apparently simple technique. It has been reported to be free of complications other than simple pneumothorax.2 However, this method is not without its dangers.3 This report deals with eight patients who suffered serious complications following the use of subclavian venous catheters.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 73-year-old, debilitated female was admitted to the hospital with bowel obstruction secondary to carcinoma of

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