Contributors: Marcus Jarboe, MD
The approach to the internal jugular vein is started adjacent to the clavicle, just lateral to the sternocleidomastoid muscle on the the right side. The ultrasound probe is placed in a transverse fashion cephalad and adjacent to the clavicle. The needle trajectory is in-line with the probe. The lateral approach enables clear and simultaneous visualization of the entire needle and key anatomic structures such as the edge of the lung, the internal jugular vein, and the carotid artery. Second, the approach allows a gentle curve on the catheter when tunneling, avoiding kinks and avoiding tendency of catheter movement in the tunnel pocket when the neck moves. Third, in cases of internal jugular occlusion, the lateral approach makes it possible to access the brachiocephalic vein.