Central Line Dressing Kits Improve Care


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.


Understanding IV Infusion


A medical procedure that delivers a substance directly into a vein is known as an IV infusion. With IV therapy, substances like drugs, electrolytes and blood can be delivered. This is all done through a needle and either a central line or a peripheral line may be used.

When a patient needs an IV infusion and a central line is used, it will be targeting specific veins in the body. This allows for sensitive areas to receive fluids that will also allow for faster distribution throughout the body.

Typically, the set of items will include a sterile plastic bag that has an attachment that allows the flow rate to be controlled. It is then connected to sterilized tubing and clamps that allow for flow regulation, with an access devise. Infusion pumps are then used to help better control the rat and determine how quickly it will be infused into the body. In cases where a rapid infusion is required, warmers and cuffs may be used to ensure the faster flow rate.

It is important to understand that with an IV infusion, there are still adverse reactions that may occur, even when proper precautions are taken. The main concern that hospitals face is infection, because of the break in the skin that the needle creates. While the wound may be in one location, the infusion may allow the bacteria to quickly enter the blood stream. This can cause serious health risks. In addition to this, IV fluids can also cause a selection of additional problems.

They include air bubbles, blood clots, extravasation, fluid overloading, infiltration, imbalances, hypothermia and vein inflammation. To reduce the risk of infection, it is vital to ensure sterile supplies are used for each application and that area cleaning is done. In addition to this, parts should be regularly changed out and devices that may carry bacteria are removed at once.

Hypothermia will usually only be a concern when patients are given an infusion of a substance that is below the normal body temperature that can cause a rapid decline in temperature.

With the IV infusion, vein inflammation is perhaps the most common because a foreign substance is being introduced into the body and this can lead to a negative reaction. When the tissue and not the vein are impacted, this is where infiltration and extravasation is found. This can be a critical condition and should be treated at once in an effort to stabilize the patient.

IV infusion can be a great way to introduce fluids, drugs and medications. However, one must use extreme caution when introducing anything into the body. Be sure to regularly check on the patient to ensure that they are experiencing any complications.