A small plastic tube is placed by a doctor into an artery. Arteries carry blood and oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body. In a newborn baby, the tube is often placed in the artery in the umbilical cord (belly button). In the older child the tube might be placed in the wrist or groin. This tube is attached to a monitor. Your child’s blood pressure and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood can be measured and recorded. These numbers show how well your child's heart and lungs are working. Doctors and nurses can use this tube to draw blood for lab tests without sticking your child with a needle. When the tube is no longer needed it can easily be removed.
This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.