PMID: 6850543Jul 1, 1983Paper

Prolonged venous access for chemotherapy by means of the Hickman catheter

W P ReedJ S McLaughlin


One hundred and six long-term right atrial (Hickman) catheters have been used to establish permanent venous access in 99 patients undergoing prolonged chemotherapy for leukemia and other malignancies at the University of Maryland/Baltimore Cancer Research Center over the 30-month period from November 1978 to May 1981. A uniform technique for insertion, using cannulation of the external or internal jugular vein and atraumatic dissection of the subcutaneous tunnel, has resulted in no episodes of hemorrhage or tunnel infection in the last 55 placements in these high-risk granulocytopenic, thrombocytopenic patients. Twelve catheters have now been in place for over one year, and two catheters have been in place for over two years without apparent ill effects. A low catheter related infection rate is attributed to meticulous adherence to catheter care guidelines, supervised by a single trained and interested nurse.


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