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Recognising serious umbilical cord anomalies
  1. Andrew S J Marshall1,
  2. Sathiya S K Jayapal2,
  3. Jessica A S Whitburn3,
  4. Bolutito A Akinbiyi4,
  5. Ian E Willetts3
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Oxford University Hospitals, Children's Hospital, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Surgery, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  4. 4Neonatal Unit, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Healthcare, Aylesbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew S J Marshall, a.marshall{at}


Umbilical vessel catheterisation is a common intervention in neonatal care. Many complications are recognised, some of which are life-threatening. We report the case of a term neonate who was compromised at birth following antepartum haemorrhage with evidence of multiorgan ischaemic injury. Following resuscitation and umbilical vessel catheterisation, she developed pneumoperitoneum. At laparotomy, a patent vitellointestinal duct was identified and resected. Intestinal perforation was found in the duct wall, most plausibly explained by the unintentional catheterisation of the duct via the umbilicus. Learning to recognise umbilical cord anomalies, such as patent vitellointestinal duct, can be simple and could prevent potentially serious complications.

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