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OBJECTIVE:To review the ability of junior doctors (JDs) in identifying the correct anatomical site for central venous catheterization (CVC) and whether prior Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training influences this. DESIGN:We performed a prospective, observational study using a structured survey and asked a group of JDs (postgraduate year 1 [PGY1] or year 2 [PGY2]) to indicate on a photograph the exact site for CVC insertion via the internal jugular (IJV) and the subclavian (SCV) approach. This study was conducted in a large metropolitan university hospital in South Africa. RESULTS:A total of 139 JDs were included. Forty-four per cent (61/139) were males and the mean age was 25 years. There were 90 PGY1s (65%) and 49 PGY2s (35%). Overall, 32% (45/139) were able to identify the correct insertion site for the IJV approach and 60% (84/139) for the SCV approach. Of the 90 PGY1s, 34% (31/90) correctly identified the insertion site for the IJV approach and 59% (53/90) for the SCV approach. Of the 49 PGY2s, 29% (14/49) correctly identified the insertion site for the IJV approach and 63% (31/49) for the SCV approach. No significant difference between PGY1 and 2 were identified. Those with ATLS provider training were significantly more likely to identify the correct site for the IJV approaches [OR=4.3, p=0.001]. This was marginally statistically significant (i.e. p>0.05 but <0.1) for the SCV approach. CONCLUSIONS:The majority of JDs do not have sufficient anatomical knowledge to identify the correct insertion site CVCs. Those who had undergone ATLS training were more likely to be able to identify the correct insertion site.

Original publication






Publication Date





203 - 207


Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Subclavian Vein, Humans, Photography, Catheterization, Central Venous, Prospective Studies, Task Performance and Analysis, Education, Medical, Graduate, Internship and Residency, Clinical Competence, Adult, Physicians, Trauma Centers, South Africa, Female, Male, Advanced Trauma Life Support Care