Umbilical venous catheters – often misplaced

A retrospective analysis of 51 neonates with an umbilical venous catheter in place compared the location of the catheter tip as assessed on radiographs with assessment by targeted neonatal echocardiography (TNE). Almost 40% of the UVCs were inside the heart (right atrium, foramen ovale, or left atrium) on TNE. For many of these misplaced catheters radiography showed the tip to be in an appropriate position at vertebral body T9 – T10. Misplacement was more common in extremely low birth weight babies.

Rates of intracardiac umbilical venous catheter placement in neonates. Harabor and Soraisham, 2014.