Pediatric arterial catheters: Complications and associated risk factors

Ferdynand Hebal*, Hayley T. Sparks, Karen L. Rychlik, Meredith Bone, Sifrance Tran, Katherine A. Barsness

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background/purpose: Arterial catheter complications are a common problem in a pediatric critical care setting, but reported complication rates and risk factors associated with peripheral arterial catheter complications vary. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify risk factors in a pediatric patient population. Methods: We performed a detailed abstraction of provider notes in the electronic medical records of inpatients ≤ 18 years of age who underwent arterial line placement between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2013 at a university-affiliated standalone pediatric hospital. Inpatient records were assessed for complications associated with arterial catheterization and risk factors inherent to arterial catheter insertion. Results: Two hundred twenty-eight children were identified, of whom 75 (33%) had a total of 106 arterial catheter complications. Complications included line malfunctions (59%, n = 63), bleeding (16%, n = 17), multiple complications (11%, n = 12), infiltration (8%, n = 9), and hematoma (4%, n = 4). Line malfunction was reported in all patients with multiple complications. Independent predictors of complications associated with arterial catheterization were the presence of more than one provider during the insertion (p = 0.007) and insertion attempts at multiple sites (p = 0.036). Conclusions: Our analysis suggests the need for a prospective study to comprehensively assess provider-related risk factors associated with arterial catheter complications in children. Level of evidence: IV

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-797
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Arterial
  • Catheter
  • Complication
  • Insertion
  • Pediatric
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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