PMID: 3304317Sep 1, 1987Paper

Central embolization of needle fragments: a complication of intravenous drug abuse

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
J P GaldunM B Heller


Central embolization is a known complication of catheter and needle fragments that enter the intravenous space. These events are associated with a number of complications including sepsis, thrombus formation with embolization, arrhythmia, and sudden death. This report reviews the case of a drug abuser who sought medical attention in the emergency department after breaking a needle in her left supraclavicular area. Initial efforts to explore the region were delayed. The delay resulted in embolization of the needle fragment to the lung periphery. This case illustrates the complications of central drug abuse and prompts a review of existing techniques to remove intravascular foreign bodies nonsurgically.


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