An umbilical catheter is a small flexible tube that is put into a baby’s umbilical stump after the umbilical cord has been cut. The umbilical stump is what is left of the umbilical cord after it is cut when the baby is born. The stump sticks out of the baby’s belly button. The umbilical cord has 1 vein and 2 arteries.
Newborns have very small veins and arteries. Sometimes it may take many tries to put an IV into a baby’s small blood vessels. An umbilical catheter can be used instead of an IV to:
Instead of this procedure, another treatment may be:
Ask your healthcare provider about your choices for treatment and the risks.
Your baby will be put on his back and secured so that your baby doesn’t move during the procedure. Your healthcare provider will stretch the umbilical stump open and put the catheter into a vein or an artery. Your provider may sew or tape the catheter in place.
Your baby will stay in the hospital while the umbilical catheter is in place. The catheter may be taken out when:
Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure and any risks. Some possible risks include:
There is risk with every treatment or procedure. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if anyone has had a tendency to have extra and abnormal blood clotting in the family.
Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to your child. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.