Objective: To provide current information related to central venous catheterization.
Design: Review of literature relevant to central venous catheterization and its indications, insertion techniques, and prevention of complications.
Results: Central venous catheterization can be lifesaving but is associated with complication rates of approximately 15%. Operator experience, familiarity with the advantages and disadvantages of the various catheterization sites, and strict attention to detail during insertion help in reducing mechanical complications associated with catheterization. Strict aseptic technique and proper catheter maintenance decrease the frequency of catheter-related infections.
Conclusions: Appropriate catheter and site selection, sufficient operator experience, careful technique, and proper catheter maintenance with removal as soon as possible are associated with optimal outcome.