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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

A minimally invasive technique for closing an iatrogenic subclavian artery cannulation using the Angio-Seal closure device: two case reports

Peter L Szkup

Author Affiliations

Department of Medical Imaging, Royal University Hospital University of Saskatchewan, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0W8, Canada

Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:82  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-82

Published: 9 March 2012

Abstract

Introduction

In the two cases described here, the subclavian artery was inadvertently cannulated during unsuccessful access to the internal jugular vein. The puncture was successfully closed using a closure device based on a collagen plug (Angio-Seal, St Jude Medical, St Paul, MN, USA). This technique is relatively simple and inexpensive. It can provide clinicians, such as intensive care physicians and anesthesiologists, with a safe and straightforward alternative to major surgery and can be a life-saving procedure.

Case presentation

In the first case, an anesthetist attempted ultrasound-guided access to the right internal jugular vein during the preoperative preparation of a 66-year-old Caucasian man. A 7-French (Fr) triple-lumen catheter was inadvertently placed into his arterial system. In the second case, an emergency physician inadvertently placed a 7-Fr catheter into the subclavian artery of a 77-year-old Caucasian woman whilst attempting access to her right internal jugular vein. Both arterial punctures were successfully closed by means of a percutaneous closure device (Angio-Seal). No complications were observed.

Conclusions

Inadvertent subclavian arterial puncture can be successfully managed with no adverse clinical sequelae by using a percutaneous vascular closure device. This minimally invasive technique may be an option for patients with non-compressible arterial punctures. This report demonstrates two practical points that may help clinicians in decision-making during daily practice. First, it provides a practical solution to a well-known vascular complication. Second, it emphasizes a role for proper vascular ultrasound training for the non-radiologist.