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Central Line Use and Care

Views: 13390 - Comments: 8

Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), discusses central line care and talks step by step of how to use a central line to obtain a blood sample.

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Megan Brashear's picture
Megan Brashear


Enrolled: 07/2011

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Morgan VanFleet's picture

Thank you for this video, Megan! Even though I wear gloves as well when performing central line care, I will also do a really thorough hand wash prior to gloving up (which I'm sure you did off camera). I take off my watch, use hot soapy water, and wash all the way up my forearms and sing the ABC's in my head. It's worth a read to also check out the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Central Line bundle, which has safety considerations for central line patients (granted, they're for humans, but easily applicable) from insertion to removal.

Fabiola Ferriz Ashby's picture

When obtaining your blood sample from a cat, how much heparinized saline is appropriate to use?

Megan Brashear's picture

Fabiola, when I have a cat with a central line I will take a 3ml syringe with 0.5ml heparinzed saline in it, and draw out 2.5ml of blood to clear the line. In my experience, most cats requiring a central line are borderline anemic anyway and drawing 5ml of blood every few hours (even if you are replacing it back) can be taxing on them.

Rebecca Dowling's picture

At what concentration do you make up your Heparinized saline for maintaining your Central lines? I often worry that a cat/small dog with a central line could end up getting too much Heparin (if they are getting q4hr flushes). Thanks!

Cheryl Kirk's picture

We place our initials, date, time and cath size (for IVC's and long lines) on the tape, that way everyone knows when it was done just by a quick look :)

Traci Grennan's picture

When you flush at the very end are you using just saline or heprinized saline for these sample ports?

Megan Brashear's picture

The final flush can be regular 0.9%NaCl; that is appropraite as long as you continue to flush unused ports every 4 hours.

Ashley Coniker's picture

How long can a central line remain in the patient? I see that it is looked at every 24 hours, but how long overall is the general rule?