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May 1977

Broken Umbilical Artery Catheter: A Report of Two Cases

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Box 49 Downstate Medical Center 450 Clarkson Ave Brooklyn, NY 11203

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(5):595. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120180109022

Numerous complications of umbilical vessel catheterization have been reported.1-6 We have encountered two examples of broken catheters.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—A 1,310-gm premature (32 weeks) female infant was born by spontaneous vaginal delivery. Shortly after birth, a No. 3.5 French polyvinyl catheter was introduced into an umbilical artery, with its tip located at the level of the third lumbar vertebra, for the management of the respiratory distress. The technique of insertion of the catheter was followed as Kitterman and others described.2,3 The catheter was stabilized with a purse-string suture using 4-0 silk and a noncutting needle. The umbilical stump was left open to air. Several hours later, because of continued oozing of blood, a second purse-string suture was applied to the umbilical stump. At 36 hours of age, the catheter was removed and was noted to be about 6 cm shorter than expected. Roentgenograms of the

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