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Caring for Your Central Vein Access

If you don't care for your central venous access device properly, it may become infected and unusable. Then the catheter will have to be removed and a new one placed in another vein. Your nurse will show you how to care for your access to help it last.

Closeup of woman's hands washing with soap in sink.Follow these tips

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Try not to touch the catheter.

  • Don't let anything (such as clothing) rub or pull on the catheter.

  • Don't get your catheter wet.

Watching for problems

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these problems:

  • You notice a break in the tubing. 

  • The skin around your access bleeds or oozes or becomes red or tender.

  • You develop a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.

  • The sutures become loose or the catheter falls out.

  • Either arm becomes swollen.

Remember. . .

A central vein access is often used only for a short time. Take good care of your access.

Important numbers


Name _______________________________ Phone _______________________________


Name _______________________________ Phone _______________________________


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