During the resuscitation of a critically-ill newborn who requires vascular access, umbilical vein catheterization can be a life-saving procedure. The umbilical vein can remain patent for approximately 1 week after birth and when catheterized, allows the administration of fluids and medications. Contraindications to the procedure include necrotizing enterocolitis, omphalitis, and peritonitis. Reviewing the anatomy of the umbilical cord, remember there are two umbilical arteries and one umbilical vein.
Just think of this cross-section of an umbilical cord:
the straw (being the umbilical catheter) goes in the mouth.
Here are some excellent step-by-step videos to review the procedure in detail.
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