The Alfred ICU uses the Avalon Elite® Bi-Caval Dual Lumen Catheter for veno-venous ECMO support where single catheter internal jugular access is desired. One advantage of this approach is the ability to mobilise the patient (compared with a 2 catheter approach with at least 1 catheter in the femoral vein). Blood is removed from both the SVC and the IVC, passed through an oxygenator and returned into the right atrium. The returning blood flow is directed at the tricuspid valve.
Correct positioning is shown below:
Echocardiographic guidance during insertion is vital. In particular, echo can assist with correct placement of the guide wire into the IVC (as opposed to the hepatic vein). Echo will also guide the appropriate depth of insertion and rotational orientation of the catheter.
The brief video clips below illustrate how useful Echo really is!
(1) Guide wire in RA (TOE Bi-caval view):
(2) Guide wire incorrectly positioned in RV (TOE Bi-caval view):
(3) Guide wire correctly positioned in IVC bypassing the hepatic vein (TTE subcostal short axis view):
(4) Catheter in good position with delivery of oxygenated blood towards the RV apex in diastole (TTE subcostal 4 chamber view):