Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatrics - Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
We reviewed retrospectively the incidence of complications encountered with two different umbilical artery catheters (UACs): a silicone-rubber end-hole catheter and an electrode-tipped, side-hole catheter for continuous, invasive monitoring of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2). During calendar year 1989, there were 457 admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit: 168 patients had placement of a UAC. Two of these were admitted only briefly for cardiac catheterization and were eliminated from analysis. One patient had both types of catheters placed sequentially. Thus the data on 166 patients with 51 PaO2 monitors and 116 silicone-rubber UACs were evaluated. The patients who had a PaO2 monitor UAC had a lower mean birth weight than those in the other group (1621 +/- 1043 gm vs 1972 +/- 1048 gm; p = 0.0473). The catheter life span was not different between the groups, with a range of 1 to 16 days for PaO2 monitors and 1 to 27 days for silicone-rubber UACs. Inability to withdraw blood, poor blood pressure tracing, or both conditions resulted in catheter removal for 5 of 51 PaO2 monitor UACs and 4 of 116 end-hole UACs. The incidence of these problems did not differ significantly between the two groups. There were no cases of thromboembolic complications in the patients who had a PaO2 monitor UAC, whereas two of the silicone-rubber UACs were removed because of perfusion problems in the lower limbs, which resolved with decannulation. We conclude that the use of the PaO2 monitor UAC allows for continuous, invasive monitoring of PaO2 without any significant increase in risk compared with that for the silicone-rubber end-hole UAC.
View details for PubMedID 7666267
Reliable vascular access can be problematic in sick low-birth-weight neonates. Umbilical venous catheters are one form of vascular access that can be used in this population. A retrospective review of experience with umbilical venous catheters in our neonatal intensive care unit from January 1989 through December 1991 was conducted. This included 128 patients: 70 with single-lumen (Gesco Umbilicath II) and 58 with double-lumen (Becton-Dickinson Careflow) catheters. Birth weight, gestational age, catheter life span, complications, and number of punctures for peripheral intravenous lines were analyzed. The mean birth weight, gestational age, and catheter life span did not differ significantly between catheter types. The incidence of catheter-related sepsis did not differ significantly (two single-lumen, three double-lumen) and occurred only in neonates with a catheter life span greater than 10 days. The number of intravenous punctures was significantly decreased in those neonates with double-lumen umbilical venous catheters (p < 0.0001). We conclude that in sick low-birth-weight infants the use of double-lumen umbilical venous catheters entails no greater risk than the use of a single-lumen umbilical venous catheter and may reduce iatrogenic stress associated with the starting of peripheral intravenous lines.
View details for PubMedID 7965222