Health Topics

Central Line Care

  • Central line care.A central line is an IV (intravenous) line that goes into a large blood vessel near the center of the body.
  • Central lines are used for giving medications, fluids, IV nutrition and drawing blood.  
  • The central line is usually placed in the chest area. Part of the line goes under the skin and enters a blood vessel several inches away. This type of line is called a tunneled central line.
  • The tunneled central line has a cuff under the skin near the exit site. The cuff is a small felt-like piece of material that circles the line. Skin will grow around the cuff to help hold the line in place. The cuff also acts like a barrier to decrease the chance of infection.
  • The central line may have a single or double lumen. A single lumen central line has one opening or tube. A double lumen line has two separate tubes within one tubing.
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How a Central Line Is Placed

Caring for a Central Line at Home

Safety Guidelines for a Central Line

Possible Problems with a Central Line

Signs of a Problem

If There Is a Problem with a Central Line

Preventing a Problem with a Central Line

Last Updated: 10/2012