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Experience with umbilical artery cutdowns in neonates


Arterial catheterization is an important adjunct to the management of critically ill neonates. We report our experience with umbilical artery cutdowns in 30 neonates in whom the umbilical artery was cannulated through a mini-laparotomy. In 29 of 30 cases (97%) successful cannulation was achieved. The mean gestational age was 31.4 weeks, and 8 neonates weighed less than 1000 g. The duration of catheter use ranged from 1 to 30 days, with a mean of 7 days. There were no complications resulting in long-term disability. A review of the literature discusses the various techniques of arterial catheterization in critically ill newborns. We conclude that umbilical artery catheterization by cutdown can be a reliable and relatively safe means of obtaining arterial access in critically ill neonates.

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Singer, R.L., Wolfson, P.J. Experience with umbilical artery cutdowns in neonates. Pediatr Surg Int 5, 295–297 (1990).

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Key words

  • Arterial catheterization
  • Umbilical artery