We report a case of a child with sickle cell disease and decreased intravascular volume secondary to splenic sequestration in whom a femoral venous catheter dislodged, infiltrated into the soft tissue of the anterior abdominal wall, and caused clinical signs of peritonitis. Inability to recognize this complication led to a delay in diagnosis of the problem and removal of the catheter.
Central venous catheters utilized to resuscitate hypovolemic patients should be removed as soon as peripheral venous access is possible and will suffice to fill the medical needs of the patient. If a patient with a femoral venous catheter develops signs of peritonitis, diagnostic studies should be performed to delineate catheter location.
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