Transthoracic intracardiac catheters are central catheters placed in the operating room at the conclusion of cardiac surgery for infants and children. Complications associated with these catheters (eg, bleeding, migration, premature removal, infection, leakage, and lack of function) have been described. However, no researchers have addressed the nursing management of these catheters in the intensive care unit, including catheter dressing and securement, mobilization of patients, and flushing the catheters, or the impact of these interventions on patients’ outcomes.


To internationally benchmark current nursing practice associated with care of infants and children with transthoracic intracardiac catheters.


In a cross-sectional, descriptive study of nursing practice in infants and children with transthoracic intracardiac catheters, a convenience sample of bedside and advanced practice nurses was recruited to complete an online survey to benchmark current practice. The survey included questions on criteria for catheter insertion and removal, dressing care, flushing practice, securement, and mobilization of patients.


Transthoracic intracardiac catheters are used by most centers that provide care for infants and children after open heart surgery. A wide range of practices was reported.


Standardizing the use and care of transthoracic intracardiac catheters can improve the safety and efficacy of their use in infants and children and promote safe and early postoperative mobilization of patients.

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