Semi-elective intraosseous infusion after failed intravenous access in pediatric anesthesia

Paediatr Anaesth. 2010 Feb;20(2):168-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2009.03244.x.


Background: Intraosseous (IO) infusion is a well-established intervention to obtain vascular access in pediatric emergency medicine but is rarely used in routine pediatric anesthesia.

Methods: In this observational study, we report on a series of 14 children in whom semi-elective IO infusion was performed under inhalational anesthesia after peripheral intravenous (IV) access had failed. Patient and case characteristics, technical details, and estimated timings of IO infusion as well as associated complications were reviewed. Data are median and range.

Results: IO infusion was successfully established in fourteen children [age: 0.1-6.00 years (median 0.72 years); weight: 3.5-12.0 kg (median 7.0 kg)]. The majority suffered from chronic cardiac, metabolic, or dysmorphic abnormalities. Estimated time taken from inhalational induction of anesthesia until insertion of an intraosseous needle was 26.5 min (15-65 min). The proximal tibia was cannulated in all patients. The automated EZIO IO system was used in eight patients and the manual COOK system in six patients. Drugs administered included hypnotics, opioids, neuromuscular blocking agents and reversals, cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, and IV fluids. The IO cannulas were removed either in the operating theatre (n = 5), in the recovery room (n = 5), or in the ward (n = 4), after 73 min (19-225 min) in situ. There were no significant complications except one accidental postoperative dislocation.

Conclusions: IO access represents a quick and reliable alternative for pediatric patients with prolonged difficult or failed IV access after inhalational induction of anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Inhalation
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous*
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intraosseous* / adverse effects
  • Infusions, Intravenous*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibia
  • Treatment Failure