Return to Index
Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
|Chemotherapy Through the Bloodstream|
|A central line catheter can be used to deliver chemotherapy.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Having a catheter for a long time
- Having a catheter that is not coated with an antimicrobial—a substance that kills bacteria
- Having a catheter inserted into a vein in the thigh
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being in the intensive care unit
- Having an infection elsewhere in the body or skin
- Fast heart rate
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness at the catheter site
- Drainage from catheter site
- Blood tests and cultures
- Urine tests
- Sputum tests
- Antibiotics—Antibiotics are medications used to treat an infection. The kind of antibiotic you will be given depends on which bacteria is found in your blood.
- Central line care—Often, the central line catheter will need to be removed and replaced by a new catheter.
At the Hospital
- Ask the staff to take every precaution to prevent an infection.
- Tell the staff right away if the bandage needs to be changed or if the site is red or sore.
- Ask everyone entering your hospital room to wash their hands. Do not allow visitors to touch your catheter.
- Follow all instructions concerning your central line.
Learn how to take care of your catheter. Follow these general guidelines:
- Follow specific instructions about showering and bathing.
- Before touching the catheter, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer. Wear gloves when touching the area.
- Change bandages as directed.
- Wash the catheter caps with an antiseptic.
- Do not allow anyone to touch the catheter or the tube.
- Check the insertion site daily for signs of infection, such as redness and swelling.
- Call your doctor if you think you have an infection.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 03/2017
- Update Date: 05/11/2013