Intended for healthcare professionals


Coroner calls for new guidance on umbilical venous catheters after baby’s death

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 29 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n290
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A newborn baby died after doctors caring for him failed to realise that the umbilical venous catheter (UVC) through which he was being fed and medicated was wrongly positioned, a coroner has found.

Anna Crawford, assistant coroner for Surrey, called for guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the use of the catheters after hearing that none currently exist.

Yo Li was born extremely prematurely at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey on 11 January 2019 and transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he was put on mechanical ventilation. A UVC was inserted but it was wrongly positioned within his liver tissue and he died four days later.

In a report to prevent future deaths, Crawford said that doctors had failed …

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