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.
- neonatal intensive care
- unwanted effects / adverse reactions
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Contributors Conception and design of the study: DM, MAGS, FAMD. Drafting the manuscript: DM. Revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content: DM, MAGS, JPMD, FAMD. Approval of the version of the manuscript to be published: DM, MAGS, JPMD, FAMD.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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