Ischaemia of the Hand in Infants Following Radial or Ulnar Artery Catheterisation

Hand Surgery : an International Journal Devoted to Hand and Upper Limb Surgery and Related Research : Journal of the Asia-Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand
J A Green, M A Tonkin


Radial and ulnar arterial catheterisation have become frequently used methods of monitoring in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Minor complications are common and temporary ischaemic changes in the form of blanching are well described. However, permanent ischaemia in the infant has rarely been reported. This series is the first in the hand surgery literature to address the issue of digital ischaemia following radial artery catheterisation in the infant population and adds three to the six previously reported cases in the English literature. One patient had fingertip necrosis to the distal interphalangeal joint level of the middle, ring and little fingers, while two other patients required amputation at the carpometacarpal joint level.


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