Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Supraventricular tachycardia induced by a peripherally inserted central catheter in a preterm baby

Peripheral insertion of a central catheter is an essential procedure, which is frequently performed in extremely premature babies as well as those that are critically ill. This article reports on the case of a preterm infant who developed supraventricular tachycardia as a consequence of a malpositioned peripherally inserted central catheter in the cardiac chambers.

Ahmed Yousef
Neonatal Clinical Fellow, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Birmingham Women's and Children's Foundation NHS Trust

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preterm infant; supraventricular tachycardia (SVT); peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC); arrythmia; patient safety
Key points
  1. This case highlights a rare complication of upper limb PICC line insertion.
  2. Practitioners should be aware of correct insertion techniques and should always examine the vascular route of a PICC line and the PICC tip position to confirm correct placement.
  3. SVT may occur if the tip of the PICC line lies within the heart chambers. 

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