Central Venous
Catheter: - Vascular Access

Central Venous Catheter

When you are ill, you take medicines orally with water, in some complications you will need drugs to be injected directly into your veins through an intravenous tube (IV). IV is a thin needle-like device that is placed into your arm. For long-term treatment, patients will need a central venous catheter(CVC), also known as a central line.

CVC is a thin tube longer than IV that is connected to a larger central vein in the arm, neck, groin, or chest. One end of the tube is guided into a larger vein and the other end has 2 tubes extending out of the body from the CVC that allows blood out of the body (from the artery) and the other tube allows blood back into the body into the veins. 

Internal Port devices are exceptional access systems, which are stationed below the skin and guided into a very large venous catheter to allow access to remove blood from the body for cleansing and then transfer blood back into the body.

Catheters and Internal port devices can be immediately used for dialysis. CVC is preferred over graft or fistula during dialysis.


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Using CVCs and internal port devices for long-term hemodialysis is not advised by National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKD) s they have side effects like:

  • vulnerable to infections, clots, or failures
  • decelerated blood flow during dialysis may not cleanse the blood as completely as in Fistula or graft access process.
  • plebian access for long-term hemodialysis

Taking care of CVC and Internal Port

Since CVC is placed just below the skin, mindful care is required as it is used for long-term treatment and prevents being vulnerable to infections and clotting.

  • It’s important to regularly clean and keeps the catheter dry, 
  • clean the catheter insertion area clean and change the dressing after every dialysis session, 
  • store an emergency dressing kit at home and learn how to change the dressing in case of emergency 
  • ensure air doesn’t enter the catheter, never remove the cap 
  • Shower only if it’s waterproof and has clear dressing and skin around it.
Even though you are careful sometimes there might be clots or infections.

Clots may be found in the opening of the catheter or outside of the catheter blocking the catheter resulting in slower movement of the blood than the usual flow recommended by your physician. If you observe a low flow rate during one or more dialysis sessions, the catheter needs to be checked and treated immediately. 

Infections may occur even though blood flow is moderate. Following catheter care, instructions are very important. stay vigilant about the infection symptoms such as fever, chills, redness near the catheter exit area, and feel fatigued, and report to the doctor immediately so that quick treatment is provided.

How to keep the Catheter Working Well?

Since Catheter vents out from your body, utmost care is needed not to pull on or the careful dressing of catheter. be gentle while dressing and undressing, or remove any covering over it. keep sharp items away from the catheter.

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