Removal of Central Line Procedures

Written by drol rotciv | 13/05/2017
Removal of Central Line Procedures
How to remove central line. (health centre sign. access to health centre image by L. Shat from

When a central venous catheter is inserted at any vein sites, such as the femoral, subclavian and internal jugular vein sites, it is called a central line. These devices are preferred in adults and children who have no peripheral access and in those who require long-term intravenous access. The subclavian route has been the preferred route for many years and allows the patient the greatest mobility. Removal and care of central lines is done by a registered nurse accredited to give intravenous medication. Aseptic technique is used at the insertion site to decrease chances of infection to the patient.

Removal of Central Line Procedures
Wash hands. (washing hands image by JASON WINTER from

Wash hands and don gloves prior to central line removal and explain the procedure to the patient. Prepare the dressing pack at the bedside prior to positioning the patient, and turn off all infusions.

Place the patient in the Trendelenburg or supine position.

Removal of Central Line Procedures
Remove sutures. (cuticle remover image by Antonio Oquias from

Remove the suture holding in the central venous catheter while ensuring it does not accidentally migrate out. Make sure all suture material has been removed.

Removal of Central Line Procedures
Cover area with sterile gauze. (gauze image by Henryk Olszewski from

Ask the patient to hold his breath as the catheter is removed, and immediately cover the area with sterile gauze and apply pressure.

Cover the site with an occlusive dressing while the patient is still holding his breath, then reposition the patient.

Removal of Central Line Procedures
Document procedure. (medical inventory image by Pix by Marti from

Document in the progress notes the time, date, condition and type of catheter when the central line was removed. Chart the condition of the patient's skin, such as presence of swelling, redness or discharge.

Removal of Central Line Procedures
Observe patient 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. (observation image by atmospheric from

Keep the dressing in place 24 to 72 hours, according to the length of time the catheter was in place. Observe the patient for signs and symptoms of bleeding, air embolism or infection of the site.

Things you need

  • Sterile dressing pack
  • Air occlusive dressing, e.g., tela gauze with antimicrobial ointment
  • Hibitane solution
  • Sterile gloves
  • Rubbish bin sterile jar to collect catheter tip if infection is suspected
  • Stitch cutter for removing sutures
  • Sterile scissors

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