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Arterial Cannulation

Central venous catheters (termed CVP lines) are required for some patients in the intensive care unit. CVP lines are used to administer medicines, fluids, and transfusions and can also be used to measure central venous pressure - the pressure in the main veins in the center of the body near the heart. This pressure reading may help the physician assess whether the patient is dehydrated or overloaded with fluid. CVP lines are placed in larger veins in the neck (the internal jugular vein), under the collar bone (the subclavian vein) or in the groin region (the femoral vein). Immediate complications include bleeding and in the case of the subclavian and internal jugular catheters, collapse of the lung (pneumothorax). Late complications of these catheters include infection of the entry site or thrombosis of the vein.

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