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How to Perform Umbilical Cord Arterial and Venous Blood Sampling in Neonatal Foals

Jeawon, Sunita S., Katz, Lisa M., Galvin, Noreen P., Cahalan, Stephen D., Duggan, Vivienne E.
Journal of equine veterinary science 2019 v.73 pp. 24-29
Thoroughbred, blood, blood gases, blood sampling, farms, foals, humans, mares, medicine, neonates, pregnancy, umbilical arteries, umbilical cord, umbilical veins
Umbilical cord arterial and venous blood gas analysis is a commonly performed procedure in human neonatal medicine to help ascertain a newborn infant's oxygenation and acid-base status before birth. Defined protocols for performing the procedure have been described in the medical literature. The aim of this report was to describe in detail the procedure for collecting paired blood samples from the umbilical artery and vein in newborn foals so that stall-side blood gas analysis could be carried out. Thirty-five Thoroughbred foals >320 days' gestation from mares at one stud farm were sampled. Paired umbilical arterial and venous whole-blood samples were obtained in n = 30 foals, umbilical artery samples alone obtained in n = 3, and umbilical vein samples alone obtained in n = 2 foals. There were no adverse events or clinical outcomes associated with the sampling protocol described. The authors found that umbilical cord blood collection for blood gas analysis was a practical clinical technique that potentially could be used as a stall-side method for assessing the in utero oxygenation and acid-base status of newborn foals.