Central venous access devices are integral components of the treatment of children with malignancy, prematurity or chronic malnutrition.  They provide a means for administration of medications, antibiotics, intravenous fluids, blood products, total parenteral nutrition and allow for blood sampling.


Historical Perspective-In 1969, Dudrick showed that long term central venous access was possible in children and adults who required total parenteral nutritional support.  Originally designed exclusively for TPN, these catheters are now used for multiple purposes.  Originally polyvinyl vascular catheters were relatively stiff and thrombogenic.

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