Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Education

Picture Quiz: Know your anatomy--the femoral triangle

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/sbmj.0309318 (Published 01 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0309318
  1. Donal Shanahan, anatomy prosector1
  1. 1University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Case history

A 25 year old man was brought into the emergency department by ambulance. He was involved in a road traffic incident and had an obvious site of blood loss from a fracture of an upper limb. On his arrival at the emergency department, you are told that the ambulance paramedic was unable to gain intravenous access and are asked by the person in charge of resuscitation to try to gain access. You are unable to find any peripheral veins because he is hypovolemic. You attempt to put in a central line via the femoral vein (fig 1).

Fig 1

Anterior aspect of right leg. A=anterior superior iliac spine; B=pubic symphysis

Questions

  1. Describe how you would locate the femoral vein.

  2. Is the femoral vein within the femoral sheath?

  3. If the femoral nerve is damaged accidentally what could be the consequences for your patient?

  4. What is the femoral canal?

Answers

  1. Palpate the femoral pulse at the midinguinal point. The …

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