Power Hour Breakout
Occlusion is the most common noninfectious complication of central venous access, affecting one in three long-term use catheters. Occlusions can be classified as thrombotic and non-thrombotic (and into important subcategories), and a correct diagnosis is crucial in order to choose an appropriate therapeutic strategy. Management options include the use of fibrinolytic agents, catheter replacement, or re-siting, as well as interventional procedures such as fibrin sheath stripping and disruption. Understanding the indication and role of each treatment option, with its relative advantages and disadvantages, is key to success in catheter salvage and access preservation. Even more important than knowing how to manage the occluded catheter, is to become aware of simple strategies that can prevent catheter occlusions.