Because the lack of blood return indicates that the fluid you inject or infuse may not be flowing into the bloodstream. It can flow retrograde between the fibrin/thrombus that can line the outside of the catheter. This means that fluid can flow back to the puncture site, leak out and cause serious infiltration or extravasation injury. There are numerous reports in the literature about this. The tip can also be eroded through and fluid flowing into the mediastinum or a number of valid reasons. Any catheter that is too short such as in the innominate or brachiocephalic vein has a much greater risk of tip migration into the jugular vein or contralateral side.
Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI
Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.
126 Main Street, PO Box 10
Milner, GA 30257
Office Phone 770-358-7861