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Caring for Your Central Venous Catheter

By Susan Eymann, MS | 27 Aug 2018

While central venous catheters serve well as a short-term solution or bridge to a more permanent access, they should not, if possible, be used as a permanent lifeline for dialysis administration. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) Fistula First, Catheter Last Breakthrough Initiative advocates catheter reduction and avoidance if possible because they are prone to infection and thrombosis. To help avert problems with catheters, patients should learn about catheter safety, and plan for a more permanent arteriovenous access to achieve catheter freedom.

CVC Safety - The One Minute Catheter Checkcentral-venous-catheter

A Dialysis Care Team should make sure that each and every catheter patient knows how to check their catheter daily, first by looking at the catheters insertion site and secondly, by feeling the catheter (see below). If they do not notice any change, they should keep checking daily and report to their Dialysis Care Team on the next visit that there was no change. If, on the other hand, the patient sees or feels a change in their catheter, they should notify their Dialysis Care Team immediately to receive instructions on what to do next.


1Reference: www.esrdncc.org Lifeline for a Lifetime: Planning for Your Access developed by ESRD National Coordinating Center and Fistula First