Caring for Your Central Vein Access

Man washing hands.It’s important to care for your central venous access device properly. If you don’t, it may become infected. Then it can’t be used. The tube (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.

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 healthcare provider right away if you have any of these problems:

  • You see a break in the tubing. 

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

  • You have a fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher.

  • The stitches (sutures) become loose or the catheter falls out.

  • An arm becomes swollen.

Remember. . .

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


Important numbers

Healthcare provider:

Name _______________________________ Phone _______________________________


Name _______________________________ Phone _______________________________