A vascular catheter should not be placed in a subclavian vein if certain conditions are present and an alternative site is available.


Relative contraindications to placement of a vascular catheter in a subclavian vein:

(1) status post radical neck dissection

(2) status post modified or radical mastectomy

(3) supraclavicular mass (primary or metastatic neoplasm)

(4) extensive radiation therapy with skin changes

(5) status post fractured clavicle or shoulder

(6) status post vascular graft (subclavian artery bypass, axillofemoral bypass)

(7) status post pectoralis flap

(8) active infection in region



• Active infection is a reversible cause if the infection can be treated.

• A catheter could be placed in a patient with a history of fracture of the clavicle or shoulder if imaging studies can demonstrate relatively normal anatomy in the area.


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