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Peds ER RN
Question re: venous and arterial femoral central line placement in same extremity

The question is whether or not placing a femoral venous and arterial central line into the same extremity is ok.  If not, how bad is this contraindication?  Is there a time limit for removing one or the other?  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Angela Lee
I would have concerns with

I would have concerns with this for several reasons.  These vessels are so close to each other that I would be concerned about vascular obstruction, increased contamination/infection risk, potential for line confusion with inadvertant infusion into arterial catheter, difficulty with dressing maintenance and the increase risk for complications to that extremity.  That's just off the top of my head--I suspect there are more reasons why this may not be a good idea.  I have seen complications from both venous and arterial catheters (one at a time) placed femorally and they can be quite serious.  I would get both out of the patient as soon as possible.

While I can't find anything in the literature to say it's contraindicated, what I do see is scarey enough not to want both in one extremity.  There's little info to say it's been done or is OK either.

Angela Lee
I checked with one of our

I checked with one of our intensivists and she said they have done it but only when there was no other option and it is not advised primarily for the reason I stated.

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