Objective: To evaluate prospectively the benefit of posterior liver mobilization during umbilical venous catheterization to place the umbilical venous catheter (UVC) in the central position (inferior vena cava).
Patients and methods: Sixty-five successive newborn infants admitted in 3 neonatal intensive care units who required a UVC were enrolled over a 4-month period. UVC positions were assessed by X-ray. UVCs were placed either in an adequate position (at the right atrial-inferior vena cava junction, indicating success) or inserted within the portal system (failure). In this case, the UVC was drawn back to the 3cm mark and then, an additional attempt to insert the UVC was made during lateroposterior liver mobilization by the operator's hand. The success and failure rates at 1st and 2nd attempts were evaluated and compared. Characteristics of the population and possible catheter-related complications were recorded.
Results: A total of 31 of 65 (55%) UVC insertions failed at the 1st attempt. Among these UVCs, 16 (52%) were correctly repositioned in the central position by hepatic mobilization. The success rate increased by 50% (p<0.05). No life-threatening complications were observed during the procedure.
Conclusion: Hand liver mobilization during umbilical venous catheterization improves the rate of adequate insertion of the UVC into the inferior vena cava. It is a simple, quick, and safe procedure.
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