UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Critical Care

Title: Catheter Positioning

Keywords: central venous catheter (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/16/2008 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 10/22/2020)
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Catheter Positioning

  • Central venous catheters (CVC) inserted from the left side must make an acute angle downward when the enter the SVC from the innominate vein
  • CVCs that do no make this turn can end up with the tip pointing directly at the lateral wall of the SVC
  • CVCs in this position can cause perforation of the SVC
  • If the catheter tip is pointing at the SVC, then advance the catheter further down