An umbilical catheter is a long, soft plastic tube (usually made of silicone) that is placed in the umbilical cord either through the umbilical artery or umbilical vein to allow IV fluids and medications to be given over an extended period of time.
Review Date 10/18/2017
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.