Central venous catheterization is an important procedure for infant patients for a number of different purposes, including nutritional support, surgical operation, hemodynamic monitoring, and multiple lines for critical care medications. Subclavian vein catheterization (SVC) is one of the central vein catheterization techniques. SVC can be performed from 4 different locations: right supraclavicular (RSC), left supraclavicular (LSC), right infraclavicular (RIC), and left infraclavicular (LIC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative effectiveness and complication risks of these 4 SVC locations in infants.
In our pediatric intensive care unit, which is part of a tertiary medical center, a well-trained fellow doctor performed the following catheterizations: 21 RSC, 24 LSC, 24 RIC, and 22 LIC, for a total of 91 SVC operations in infants. The patients were placed in the Trendelenburg position. The site of puncture was decided by the operator. Statistical significance was analyzed according to Fisher's exact test and 2-sample t test.
The overall success rate was 90.1% (82 out of 91 operations). No statistically significant differences were noted among these 4 groups, either in the success or complication rate. There were 6 cases of arterial puncture (5 supraclavicular and 1 infraclavicular, p = 0.09), 2 cases of pneumothorax (1 RSC and 1 RIC), and 2 cases of malpositioned catheter (1 RSC and 1 RIC). There was no mortality.
In our study, we found that there was no statistically significant difference among the 4 SVC locations in effectiveness of operation or in risk of complication. There was a tendency to damage the subclavian arteries through the supraclavicular route.