Long-term tunneled Groshong catheters have been widely used in our institution since 1987, both in adult and pediatric patients, for different purposes (chemotherapy, parenteral nutrition, etc.). In the period 1987–2003, most of these catheters were inserted adopting the ‘blind’ percutaneous venipuncture of the internal jugular vein, by the so called ‘low lateral’ approach (Jernigan's technique). Also, with the exception of selected pediatric cases, they have been inserted at the bedside, without intra-operative fluoroscopy. A retrospective analysis of 1848 tunneled Groshong catheters inserted at our institution over a 15 year period (1987–2003) showed that this protocol was particularly safe (low incidence of complications) and cost-effective (low costs: limited use of fluoroscopy and the operating room).

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