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Ultrasound-Guided Procedures

  • Lindsay Taylor

Abstract

  1. (a)
    Procedure Indications
    • Difficult intravenous (IV) access:
      • Risk factors for difficult IV access include:
        • Dialysis patient

        • Sickle cell patient

        • Diabetic patient

        • Chemotherapy patient

        • Dehydration

        • Obesity

        • Edema

        • IV drug abuse

        • History of difficult access

    • Multiple previous attempts without successful IV placement

     
  2. (b)
    Procedure Complications
    • Infection, phlebitis, hematoma

    • Extraluminal placement

    • Dislodgement and infiltration

     
  3. (c)
    Transducer Selection
    • Linear array

     
  4. (d)
    Equipment
    • IV needle with angiocatheter:
      • Long catheters are preferred if available.

      • Figure 18.1—Long and short IV catheters.

    • Ultrasound gel:
      • Sterile surgical lubricant is recommended for deep vein access or when drawing blood cultures.

    • Antiseptic swab:
      • Chlorhexidine is recommended for deep vein access.

    • Tourniquet

    • Luer lock adapter

    • Saline flush

    • Adhesive dressing

    • Gloves

     
  5. (e)
    Patient Position and Anatomical Landmarks
    • The patient should be supine with their arm extended and externally rotated:
      • Figure 18.2—Patient position for PIV placement

    • Blood vessels appear anechoic:
      • Veins are thin walled and compressible.

      • Arteries have thicker walls, typically pulsate, and are not compressible.

      • Figure 18.3—Ultrasound of the artery and vein.

    • The brachial vein runs adjacent to the brachial artery and median nerve within the upper medial arm.

    • The basilic vein runs medial to the brachial vessels.

    • Figure 18.4—Brachial and basilic vein positions.

     
  6. (f)
    Preparation
    • Universal precautions should be utilized at all times.

    • Apply tourniquet.

    • Identify the vessel with ultrasound:
      • Success rate increases when the vein is less than 1.5 cm from the skin surface [1].

    • Clean transducer with antiseptic cloth.

    • Hold transducer with nondominant hand and place over the vessel:
      • Be careful not to apply pressure with the transducer as this will displace the vessel deeper within the arm and can compress the vein.

      • Figure 18.5—Transducer placement.

    • Adjust depth so that the vessel is in the center of the screen.

    • Increase gain so that needle will show up bright on the screen.

    • Figure 18.6—Ideal image for ultrasound-guided peripheral IV placement.

     
  7. (g)
    Technique
    • Two approaches (in-plane or out-of-plane):
      • Figure 18.7a—In-plane

      • Figure 18.7b—Out-of-plane

    • Out-of-plane:
      • The vein will be imaged using a transverse or cross-sectional view.

      • The transducer marker should point in the same direction on the patient as on the ultrasound monitor.

      • Identify the vein in cross section:
        • Make sure the vessel is compressible before attempting access.

      • Insert the needle just distal to the transducer and enter the skin at a 15–30° angle:
        • Figure 18.8—Needle position relative to transducer

      • Needle tip will be visualized in the subcutaneous tissue as a small bright white dot:
        • Figure 18.9—Needle tip

      • As the needle is advanced closer to the vessel, the transducer should slide with the advancement to keep the needle tip visualized at all times.

      • Once the needle tip enters the vessel, drop the angle of the needle, and advance at least 2 mm to ensure the needle and the catheter are within the vessel lumen:
        • Figure 18.10—Needle in the vessel.

        • Remember: catheter tip sits back slightly from needle bevel so at the initial flash, it may not be far enough into the vessel to advance the catheter.

      • Stabilize the needle and slowly advance the catheter until it is completely within the vessel lumen.

      • Video 18.1—Out-of-plane peripheral IV placement.

    • In-plane:
      • The vein will be imaged using a longitudinal view of the vessel.

      • Place the transducer over the vessel with the marker pointed toward the needle:
        • This can also be done with the marker pointed away from the needle.

      • In this view, the vein will appear as an anechoic tube.

      • Insert the needle just distal to the leading edge of the transducer and enter the skin at a 15–30° angle:
        • Figure 18.11—Transducer and needle placement in long axis

      • If the needle is directly under the transducer beam, it will reflect the entire needle, and you can visualize it along its course into the vessel:
        • Figure 18.12—Long axis of needle toward the vein

      • Once the needle tip enters the vessel, drop the angle, and advance 2 mm to ensure the needle and the catheter are within the vessel lumen:
        • Figure 18.13—Needle in the vessel, long axis.

        • Remember: catheter tip sits back slightly from needle bevel so at the initial flash, it may not be far enough into the vessel to advance the catheter.

      • Stabilize the needle and slowly advance the catheter until it is completely within the vessel lumen.

      • Video 18.2—In-plane peripheral IV placement.

    • Completing the procedure:
      • Remove the tourniquet.

      • Flush the luer lock and tubing with saline to remove air bubbles, attach it to the catheter, and secure it in place with Tegaderm adhesive.

      • Flush the catheter once inside the vessel:
        • The IV should flush easily.

        • If there is resistance or pain with the flush, the catheter is likely outside the lumen of the vessel and needs to be removed.

     
  8. (h)
    Key Points
    • Ultrasound improves efficiency of IV access when blind landmark attempts have failed and decreases the number of needle sticks [2].

    • Tissue movement can help localize the approximate location of the needle tip prior to actually visualizing the needle tip [2].

     

Keywords

Peripheral intravenous access Central venous catheter Lumbar puncture Nerve block Regional anesthesia Paracentesis 

Supplementary material

Video 18.1

Out-of-plane peripheral IV placement. The hyperechoic needle tip is seen going through the tissue and entering the center of the vein (MP4 469 kb)

Video 18.2

In-plane peripheral IV placement. An in-plane approach allows for visualization of the entire needle as it traverses the subcutaneous tissue and enters the vein (MP4 509 kb)

Video 18.3

Internal jugular vein. The internal jugular vein is a larger vessel with thin walls that is compressible under pressure, and the carotid artery has a thicker wall and is pulsatile (MP4 571 kb)

Video 18.4

Femoral vein. The common femoral vein on the left is compressible under pressure, and the femoral artery on the right with a thick muscular wall is pulsatile under pressure (MP4 2027 kb)

Video 18.5

Out-of-plane central line placement demonstrating the tip of the IV approaching the vessel (MP4 2287 kb)

Video 18.6

Out-of-plane central line placement identifying the hyperechoic needle tip within the middle of the vein (MP4 2347 kb)

Video 18.7

In-plane central line needle. The needle is visualized within the lumen of the vessel (MP4 4891 kb)

Video 18.8

In-plane central line wire confirmation. Visualization of the wire within the vessel helps to confirm appropriate line placement (MP4 4889 kb)

Video 18.9

RASS. Shortly after injection of saline into the CVC, bubbles will reach the right atrium and ventricle; this is called rapid atrial swirl sign (RASS) (MP4 2365 kb)

Video 18.10

Ascites with the bowel in far field. Ascites is anechoic and the bowels are seen in the far field (MP4 1844 kb)

Video 18.11

Needle in the peritoneum and ascites. The arrow is pointing to the tip of the needle as it pierces through the tissue into the peritoneum (MP4 527 kb)

Video 18.12

Needle tip near the nerve. The entire length of the needle is visualized as it gets close to the nerve (MP4 371 kb)

Video 18.13

Injection of anesthetic around the nerve. The anesthetic is ejected from the tip of the needle and hydro-dissects around the nerve (MP4 1876 kb)

Video 18.14

Spinous process in transverse. The spinous process appears as a hyperechoic crescent with posterior shadowing (MP4 1271 kb)

Video 18.15

Spinous process in sagittal. The interspinous space is centered in the middle of the screen (MP4 1110 kb)

References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmondUSA

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