Death as a complication of peripherally inserted central catheters in neonates

J Pediatr. 2001 Apr;138(4):599-601. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2001.111823.


We report 2 neonatal deaths caused by cardiac tamponade related to peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). A total of 3 deaths were noted for 390 PICCs placed, giving an incidence of 0.76%. To determine the magnitude of neonatal death related to PICCs, directors of neonatal intensive care units in the United States were surveyed by means of a questionnaire. Myocardial perforation and pericardial effusion were reported by 29% and 43%, respectively. Deaths were attributed to PICCs by 24% of the respondents. Uniform guidelines need to be formulated to avoid this complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Tamponade / etiology*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Analysis