Minerva Pediatrics, vol.74, no.2, pp.181-187, 2022 (Scopus)
© 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA.BACKGROUND: Intrahospital transport, general anesthesia, and the prolonged duration of the central venous catheterization (CVC) in unfavorable conditions pose a significant risk to a critically-ill premature infant. We aimed to demonstrate a minimalized and safe manner of CVC in this patient population. METHODS: We worked on a prospective study in 51 critically-ill premature infants in which a 22 Gauge catheter was put in one of the central thoracic veins with the guidance of sonography as a bedside procedure. Of the patients, 27 (53%) were extremely premature, and 21 (41%) were extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW). The mean gestational age was 29±5 weeks, and the mean weight at the time of the procedure was 1655±1028 grams. While no anesthetic and sedative drugs were administered to ELBW infants during procedures, in the remainder of the cohort, procedures were carried out only under sedoanalgesia. RESULTS: Vascular access was achieved in 48 (94%) of the patients after a mean number of 1.47±0.75 attempts. Body heat loss of the patients at the end of the procedures was not statistically significant (P=0.164). However, ELBW infants lost their body heat significantly more than the rest of the cohort (P=0.032). We experienced clinically insignificant common carotid artery puncture in three patients and hemothorax in one patient. CONCLUSIONS: CVC of critically ill premature infants can be safely and successfully achieved in incubators using sonography guidance, protecting them from hypothermia and anesthetic drugs.