Use of Double Lumen Central Venous Catheters for the Drainage of Pleural Effusion in Pediatrics: A Prospective Observational Study

  • Naser Shwaihet
  • Gillian Ingram
Keywords: Central Venous Catheter, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Disease, Pleural Effusion, Complications, Safety Measures.


Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the use of double lumen central venous catheter for the drainage of uncomplicated pleural effusions in pediatric patients post cardiac surgery. Methodology: A prospective observational study was performed in a Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit of a tertiary hospital in the Middle East. The procedure involved the insertion of a double lumen central venous catheter at the bedside without ultrasound guidance. Catheter placement was confirmed through radiological examination. Results: Forty seven patients were included in the study. The average age of the sample was 9.76 months. The average amount of fluids drained was 481.17 mL. One case (2.13%) had pneumothorax on insertion. Three cases (6.38%) had line dislodgment and one of them (2.13%) required line re-insertion. Three cases (6.38%) were reported to have mild pleural effusion within 24 hours post line removal that did not require further intervention. No cases (0%) have developed pleural effusion within the next 24 hours after line removal. No safety issues were recorded including the risk of miss-using the line for other reasons (e.g. medication administration). Conclusion: The use of double lumen central venous catheter to drain pleural effusion is considered a safe and effective practice in an intensive care setting. Future studies should aim to recruit larger samples with comparative methodology to achieve more representative findings.


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