Background: A growing body of literature supports the use of ultrasound (US) to assist central venous catheter (CVC) placement, and in many settings, this has become the standard of care. However, this remains a relatively new and uncommonly performed procedure for pediatric emergency medicine physicians.
Objectives: This study aims to describe the change over time in percentage of CVC procedures performed with US assistance per 10,000 patient visits in a pediatric emergency department.
Methods: We describe the development of an emergency US program in a pediatric emergency department and investigate how US use for CVC placement in internal jugular and femoral veins changed from July 2007, when US became available, until December 2011. Data related to CVC procedures were obtained from a procedure database maintained for quality assurance purposes.
Results: The percentage of CVC procedures performed with US assistance increased significantly over time (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The development of an emergency US program was associated with significantly increased physician use of US for CVC placement.