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Clinical Investigations: NEEDLES AND CATHETERS |

Are Femoral Broviac Catheters Effective and Safe?*: A Prospective Comparison of Femoral and Jugular Venous Broviac Catheters in Newborn Infants

Daniel T. Murai, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Honolulu, HI.

Correspondence to: Daniel T. Murai, MD, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, 1319 Punahou St, Honolulu, HI 96826



Chest. 2002;121(5):1527-1530. doi:10.1378/chest.121.5.1527
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Study objectives: Patients with femoral venous catheters are commonly believed to be at higher risk of infectious complications as compared to patients with jugular catheters. Although reports have suggested that femoral venous Broviac catheters (Davol; Cranston, RI) are safe, no comparisons with jugular catheters were presented. Thus, we compared our efficacy and complications of femoral and jugular venous Broviac catheters in newborns.

Methods: We prospectively recorded demographic data, cannulation requirements, duration of catheter use, and complications.

Setting: Special-care nursery.

Patients: Newborns.

Interventions: Insertion of tunneled single-lumen Broviac catheters into vessels of the femoral triangle or the internal jugular, external jugular, or facial veins by surgical cutdown.

Measurements and results: Sixty infants had 2,503 catheter-days with 111 catheters. Twenty-six infants had 47 femoral catheters, and 34 infants had 64 jugular catheters. All insertion attempts were successful. The median durations of catheter use were 24.0 days and 17.0 days for femoral and jugular catheters, respectively (p = 0.021). Group characteristics, insertion variables, incidences of complications, and deaths were not significantly different between groups.

Conclusions: We conclude that compared to jugular catheters, femoral venous Broviac catheters are an effective means to vascular access, with similar incidences of complications in newborn infants.


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