Guide to Central Venous Access Device (CVAD) Care
Post discharge guide for management of central venous access devices care
What is a central venous catheter (CVC)? A CVC is small-calibre, soft, flexible tubing inserted through a vein either in the arm, chest or neck, tip positioned in the large vein above the heart (also known as central vein). Examples include non-tunneled central venous catheter, Hickman’s (tunneled) catheter, peripheral inserted central catheter (PICC) and implanted central venous access port (Port-a-cath).
Why is a CVC needed? Your doctor may have recommended the insertion of a CVC for one of the following reasons:
What are the preparations needed for insertion of CVC?
How is CVC inserted?
What are the risks associated with having a central venous catheter?
How to care for your central venous catheter?Do’sKeep dressing dry and intact. Regular weekly change of dressing around the catheter site, or earlier if it becomes soiled. Regular flushing of the catheter to maintain patency. Observe CVC site for bleeding, redness, swelling and discharge. Light exercises is allowed e.g. brisk walking Inform the nurse if you/your child develops any allergic reaction to the dressing used (e.g. itchy skin, redness). Ensure the catheter is taped down securely at all times to prevent dislodgement.
Dont’sNo strenuous exercises, e.g.: tennis, swimming, golf. (Swimming is only permitted if you have Port-a-cath after the surgical wound has healed completely.) Avoid carrying heavy load. Avoid tight fitting clothes. Avoid pulling on the catheter. Avoid scratching the catheter. Avoid changing the dressing or flushing the catheter unless you have been trained and certified by a nurse.
When do I need to come back to hospital? If you have any of the following signs and symptoms:
Footnote: Your nurse will be educating you on how to care for your catheter should you require to go home with the CVC.
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