Central venous catheterization is a reliable technique in neonatal surgery. Nevertheless, the rate of mechanical catheter-related complications remains high. We report a neonate with gastroschisis in which the successful placement of a central venous catheter was followed later by a cardiac tamponade with a fatal outcome. This complication occurred without perforation of the cardiac wall. A similar finding has been reported in only one other pediatric patient. Vigilant observation is required in any neonate with a central venous line in place to prevent the occurrence of this life-threatening event.