A sheath and obturator is provided for facilitating the insertion of certain medical devices into a patient's vascular system, a vein, or venous system and in particular an in vivo extrapulmonary blood gas exchange device having a bundle comprised of a plurality of elongated gas permeable tubes being potted at each end and enclosed within a respective air tight proximal and distal chamber. The sheath is hollow and substantially tubular with a tapered receiving portion and a nontapered, curved entry portion. The obturator has a tip at the distal end of the obturator and a trip at the proximal end with an elongate member therebetween. The sheath is configured to receive the obturator in sliding engagement such that when the obturator is fully inserted within the sheath, the tip closes the opening at the entry end of the sheath and protrudes slightly therefrom. The obturator has a vent which provides a passage from space exterior to the sheath into the hollow interior of the sheath. The sheath and obturator are inserted into the patient through a single incision. Upon removal of the obturator from the sheath, a extrapulmonary blood gas exchange device may be inserted into and through the sheath into one of the right external iliac, common femoral or internal jugular veins, and then into the vena cavae where the elongate gas permeable tubes may be deployed for blood oxygenation.
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