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How to Care for Your Central Line

screenshot from a video on central line catheters 

Cancer treatment often involves receiving chemotherapy, medications, blood products, and fluids. These products are usually given through a needle inserted into a vein. Today, many cancer patients have a central line, which helps them receive medications more easily.

If you have a central line, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to care for it, and how to disconnect it from any medications you are getting at home. Knowing the correct procedures is essential to preventing infection.

There are many types of central lines. Each one has its own instructions for home care.

Central Line Catheter Information Sheets

These information sheets offer helpful guidance on how to care for a central line catheter. However, they are not meant to take the place of conversations with members of your health care team about your treatment and effects you may experience during and after the use of a central line. Please speak with your doctor or nurse if you have questions or experience problems with your central line catheter.

Hickman Catheter

Watch a video on How to Change the Dressing on Your Hickman Catheter. 

PICC Catheter

  • PICC Catheter Patient Guide
    Care tips for your Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC), a special IV catheter that is put in an arm vein and ends in a large vein.

Caring for your Central Line Catheter (PICC or Hickman)

Watch a video on How to Flush Your Central Line Catheter, and Change the Cap. 


Watch a video on How to Disconnect Your Port at Home. 

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