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.
Update Date 5/14/2014
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.