Background: Tunneled central venous catheters (CVC) were developed five decades ago. Since then, several clinician-inventors have created a variety of catheters with different functions. Indeed, many catheters have been named after their inventor. Many have wondered who the inventors were of each catheter, and what specifically inspired their inventions. Many of these compelling stories have yet to be told.

Data source: A literature review of common catheters and personal communication with inventors. Only first person accounts from inventors or those close to the invention were used.

Conclusions: CVCs are now essential devices that have saved countless lives. Though the inventors have earned the honor of naming their catheters, it may be reasonable to consider more consistent terminology to describe these catheters to avoid confusion.

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