A nurse's guide to early detection of umbilical venous catheter complications in infants.
The use of umbilical catheters in the care of critically ill neonates has become standard practice. Both arterial and venous umbilical catheters are a vital component of care, providing a stable route for fluid and medication administration, vascular pressure monitoring, and frequent blood sampling. Although commonplace, umbilical catheters are not without complications. Neonatal caregivers must be aware of and monitor carefully for associated complications. This article, Part 1 of a 2-part series, provides a systematic guide to the physical assessment of infants with umbilical venous catheters with an emphasis on early and ongoing recognition of complications related to this device. Part 2 will focus on umbilical arterial catheters, their use, and assessment of the infant to detect device-specific complications.
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