Peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters can break off while still in the patient, with possible detrimental effects such as upstream migration to the heart. These catheters have probably been damaged by the needle during a difficult insertion. A peripheral IV catheter was removed in a 90 year old patient and only half of the catheter was retrieved. By using ultrasound examination the remaining part of the IV catheter was identified, and retrieved surgically, before it could migrate towards the heart. This case report suggests that ultrasound should not only be used for difficult placement of a peripheral IV catheter, but can also be used when removal is complicated.
- Broken catheter