The axillary vein central venous catheter in severely burned patients

Burns. 1999 Dec;25(8):753-6. doi: 10.1016/s0305-4179(99)00090-x.


In severely burned patients the approach to the central vein is often difficult due to concomitant edema, but also due to the fact that the skin area, where commonly used approaches are performed, is burned as well, whereas the axillary region is often not involved. In order to perform an axillary approach to the central vein as an alternative to the commonly used approaches in patients, an anatomical dissection in fresh human cadavers was carried out. Considering the anatomical landmarks which were found during dissection of the axillary region, the axillary approach to the central vein was used in 35 patients in our intensive burn care unit with unaffected axillary skin. In three cases the only complication observed was an occasional puncture of the axillary artery without major hematoma. The infection rate of the catheters was similar to the commonly used puncture sites. This approach to the central venous line in severely burned patients can be recommended.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Axillary Vein* / anatomy & histology
  • Burn Units
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Cadaver
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Punctures