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Cold light transillumination as an aid to umbilical catheterisation
  1. V P Balasubramaniam,
  2. S Yasin,
  3. D S Urquhart,
  4. R M Nicholl
  1. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow HA1 3UJ, UK; vpbals{at}

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A technique using cold light transillumination has been reported for cannulation of peripheral vessels in the newborn.1 Here we show its use in the catheterisation of umbilical vessels. We encountered difficulty in inserting a catheter into a bruised umbilical cord and transillumination helped us to identify the exact pathway of the vessels (see fig). Aseptic technique is maintained by placing the cold light into the finger of a sterile glove. The technique also helps to identify false passage of umbilical catheters. Sterile technique and an extra pair of hands for its usage may limit its use in difficult situations rather than in routine practice.2



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