There are different types of sites for intravenous IV infusion. A lot depends on the condition of the patient and what type of infusions the patient needs. The peripheral IV site is the most common. The implanted venous port is surgically implanted in the chest wall and requires accessing with a Huber needles. The central venous catheter or central line, as it is often called, is a long line catheter, that is usually inserted into the chest wall. It is placed in a vein and is fed through this vein until it reaches the superior vena cava or the right atrium.
A central line is used for giving treatment for infections, heart, infusing blood, large amounts of fluids, kidney dialysis, cancer, nutrition or pain. This catheter can be left in place for an extended length of time. Because of this, it is very important that the central line dressing be changed per the hospital protocol, in order to decrease the chance of infection.
Anytime the central line dressing is changed, aseptic technique must be used. The use of the central line dressing change kits help to prevent infections. Everything that is needed is in the kit, which saves the nurse’s time. Technique does not have to be broken in order to gather more supplies and it is less time consuming. The site needs to be closely monitored. The handling of the line needs to be kept at a minimum, in order to reduce the risk of the line and site becoming contaminated. Any redness or discharge from the site should be reported immediately to the physician.
The Dressing Change Kits for central lines usually include these items:
- 1 mask
- 1 pr sterile gloves
- 1 drape 17″ x 19″
- 1 tape measure
- 1 Triple Swabsticks
- 2 alcohol prep pads
- 2 gauze sponges
- 1 pre-split sponge
- 1 non-stick pad
- 1 roll of take
- 1 tegaderm transparent dressing 4″ x 4 3/4″
- 1 label
These kits are sterile, latex free, and come 30/case from Wolf-Pak.
In the United States alone, physicians place more than 5 million central lines per year. The complications that can arise from the insertion of these IV’s are mechanical, infections, and thrombolytic. Use of the central line dressing change kits for changing of the sites, per the protocol of the facility will improve the care of the patient. The nurse has the vital role to safeguard the patient against the risks that are associated with the central line IV’s.