• Since 1981, we have performed more than 1,300 dialyses in 74 patients who have had subclavian dialysis catheters (SDCs) in place for a total of 3,065 days. Sixty-one (82%) of these patients have had their SDCs in place for seven to 21 days, including 37 (50%) for longer than 21 days. We have had six culture-proved and three possible (culture-negative) cases of SDC-related infections. Staphylococcus aureus (four cases) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (two cases) were the only organisms isolated. These infections were easily managed with antibiotics and removal of the SDC. There were no infection-related deaths. We believe that the SDC is a safe means of administering hemodialysis.
(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1787-1789)