Cardiac tamponade following umbilical vein catheterisation in a neonate

Van Niekerk M. ; Kalis N.N. ; Van Der Merwe P.-L. (1998)


Umbilical vein cathcterisation (UVC) should not routinely be used in the neonatal intensive care unit, and when it is used special precautions should be taken and guidelines followed. We present an unusual complication which occurred following use of an umbilical vein catheter in a term neonate. This case highlights another potentially lethal complication of UVC, and emphasises the risks associated with the procedure. In order for the benefits of UVC to outweigh the risks, certain guidelines are reviewed. The importance of confirming the position of the catheter tip with both anteroposterior and lateral radiographs is emphasised.

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