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How to Change the Dressing on Your Hickman Catheter

  • How to Change the Dressing on Your Hickman Catheter
    Watch Susanne, a Dana-Farber clinical nurse specialist, teach Bill, a leukemia patient, how to change the dressing over a Hickman catheter. Many cancer patients have central lines, which make it easier to receive medications such as chemotherapy and have blood tests. One common type of central line is a Hickman catheter, which hangs outside the chest with two channels (called lumens) on the ends.

  • What is a Hickman catheter?

    A Hickman catheter is a small, soft tube inserted in your neck or chest with several channels (called lumens) on the ends. Several inches of the catheter are outside your skin. A Hickman catheter is used for taking and giving blood, and giving medicines that need a larger vein (such as chemotherapy), and other fluids. Patients who receive stem cell transplants often have a Hickman catheter.

    How to change the dressing

    Your Hickman catheter, at the place where it extends out of your skin, is covered by a clear bandage called a "dressing." This dressing is sterile and needs to be changed once a week. If your dressing becomes wet, change it immediately. For this procedure you need to wear gloves.

    See additional information and instructions on caring for your Hickman catheter.

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