BACKGROUND: Patients requiring central venous access frequently have disorders of hemostasis. The aim of this study was to identify factors predictive of bleeding complications after central venous catheterization in this group of patients. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all central venous catheters placed over a 2-year period (1997 to 1999) at our institution were performed. The age, sex, clinical diagnosis, most recent platelet count, prothrombin international normalized ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), catheter type, the number of passes to complete the procedure, and bleeding complications were retrieved from the medical records. RESULTS: In a 2-year period, 2,010 central venous catheters were placed in 1,825 patients. Three hundred and thirty placements were in patients with disorders of hemostasis. In 88 of the 330 patients, the underlying coagulopathy was not corrected before catheter placement. In these patients, there were 3 bleeding complications requiring placement of a purse string suture at the catheter entry site. In the remaining 242 patients, there was 1 bleeding complication. Of the variables analyzed, only a low platelet count (<50 × 109/L) was significantly associated with bleeding complications. CONCLUSION: Central venous access procedures can be safely performed in patients with underlying disorders of hemostasis. Even patients with low platelet counts have infrequent (3 of 88) bleeding complications, and these problems are easily managed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas