Umbilical artery perforation: A potentially life-threatening complication of umbilical artery catheterisation

Daniel Molanus*, MacHteld Van Scherpenzeel, Joep Derikx, Frank Van Den Dungen, Machteld van Scherpenzeel

*Corresponding author for this work

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Umbilical artery catheterisation is frequently performed in preterm or critically ill newborn infants for invasive monitoring of blood pressure and blood sampling for laboratory tests. It is associated with well-known complications like catheter-related infections, thromboembolic events and aneurysmal formation of the aorta. In this report, we present another major complication of umbilical artery catheterisation: Umbilical artery perforation. This complication occurred in a prematurely born infant and resulted in severe haemorrhagic shock, subsequent renal failure and severe periventricular leukomalacia. Ultimately, the patient deceased 3 weeks after birth. Review of the literature identified only a few case reports and retrospective postmortem studies describing this complication. Neonatologists and paediatricians performing umbilical artery catheterisation should be aware of this rare, but potentially life-threatening complication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number222664
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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