Background: Ultrasound-guided central venous catheterization has been recommended to increase the procedural success rate and enhance patient safety. However, few studies have examined the potential advantages of one ultrasound technique with another, specifically in small infants.
Methods: The authors randomly assigned 60 neonates and infants weighing less than 7.5 kg to an ultrasound-guided skin-marking method (n = 27) versus real-time ultrasound-assisted internal jugular venous catheterization (n = 33). The times to successful puncture of the internal jugular vein and to catheterization were measured. Attempts at needle punctures for successful catheterization were counted. Procedural complications were recorded.
Results: In the real-time group, compared with the skin- marking group, venous puncture was completed faster (P = 0.03), the time required to catheterize was shorter (P < 0.01), and fewer needle passes were needed. Specifically, fewer than three attempts at puncture were made in 100% of patients in the real-time group, versus 74% of patients in the skin-marking group (P < 0.01). A hematoma and an arterial puncture occurred in one patient each in the skin-marking group.
Conclusions: The real-time ultrasound guidance method could enhance procedural efficacy and safety of internal jugular catheterization in neonates and infants.