Umbilical venous catheter care and complications reviewed

Safety IV catheter


OBJECTIVE: Umbilical venous catheter (UVC) insertion is frequently performed in critically ill neonates. Various mild or serious complications of umbilical venous catheterization can be observed associated with this procedure. In this study, newborns that have undergone UVC and developed complications were evaluated.

METHODS: This retrospective observational study was carried out in newborns that have undergone UVC and developed complications were evaluated between June 2008 and November 2014.

RESULTS: Umbilical venous catheter were inserted to 974 (22.4%) newborn and followed for 7402/catheter days. UVC related complications developed at 198 patients (20.3%). The most common UVC related complications were malposition (n=188), catheter-related bloodstream infection (n=6) and remnant of catheter in the umbilicus (n=3), respectively. Remnant of catheter in the umbilicus was removed by pediatric surgeon. All patients were discharged.

CONCLUSION: Although UVC is a common and easy vascular access, this process is not without complications. UVC may be inappropriate position because the catheter is inserted by the pediatrician without imaging guidance and may occasionally be associated with complications. Inappropriate positioning of the catheter may observe during the follow-up and maintained care. Therefore newborns particularly in premature and very low birth-weight newborn should be followed in terms of catheter complications during insertion, following and just after removing of the catheter.


Mutlu, M., Aslan, Y., Kul, S. and Yılmaz, G. (2015) Umbilical venous catheter complications in newborns: A 6-Year Single-Center Experience. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. October 9th. .

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