Positioning newborns for umbilical venous catheter insertion

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Positioning newborn infants on their right side did not result in more correctly placed umbilical venous catheters” Kieran et al (2016).

Abstract:

AIM: Newborns are placed supine for umbilical venous catheter insertion and catheter tip position is confirmed with X-ray. Umbilical venous catheters are considered correctly positioned when the tip is in the inferior vena cava however frequently the catheter tip enters the portal venous circulation. We wished to determine whether placing infants on their right side, rather than on the back, for umbilical venous catheter insertion results in more correctly placed catheters.

METHODS: Newborns were randomised to be placed on their back, or turned onto their right side for catheter insertion. Primary outcome was correct catheter tip position on X-Ray (visible in the midline at diaphragm level).

RESULTS: Umbilical venous catheter insertion was successful in all infants enrolled. There was no difference in the proportion of correctly positioned catheters between the groups [back 23/44 (52%) versus right side 27/44 (61%), P = .389]. More infants randomised to back had the catheter tip in the portal circulation [back 13/44 (30%) versus right side 5/44 (11%), P = .034].

CONCLUSION: Positioning newborn infants on their right side did not result in more correctly placed umbilical venous catheters. The procedure was well-tolerated and reduced the rate of tip insertion into the portal venous circulation.

Reference:

Kieran, E.A., Laffan, E.E. and O’Donnell, C.P. (2016) Positioning newborns on their back or right side for umbilical venous catheter insertion. Acta Paediatrica. July 13th. [Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1111/apa.13525.

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