Background: The present study was designed to investigate the feasibility of using the corpus cavernosum as an alternative means of intravenous access in the emergency setting. Methods: The feasibility of achieving the infusion flow rates was first ascertained using direct intracavernous infusion of normal saline. The effect of atropine and adrenaline when given via this route was then studied. Hypovolaemic shock was then induced in dogs who were then actively resuscitated via this route using normal saline, Haemaccel and whole blood. Results: Infusion flow rates were achieved for normal saline of 32.3, 50.3 and 67.3 mL per min at 100, 200 and 300 mmHg pressure, respectively. The peak effects of atropine and adrenaline via this route were seen at approximately 1 min after injection. Resuscitation using this method was uniformly successful in all dogs via the corpus cavernosum, with all reaching or exceeding their premorbid central venous pressure (CVP), and approaching or reaching their premorbid mean arterial pressure (MAP). In comparison the control dog's CVP and MAP did not rise during the period of observation after it was bled. Conclusions: The corpus cavernosum is a practical alternative means of intravenous access in the emergency setting in the dog model.
- Corpus cavernosum