Search Encyclopedia:    
List of Topics Print This Page
 

Central venous line - infants


Alternative names:

CVL - infants; Central catheter - infants - surgically placed

Information:

A central venous line (CVL) is a long, soft, plastic tube that is put into a large vein in the chest.

Why is a CVL used?

A CVL is usually put in when a baby cannot get a percutaneous inserted central catheter (PICC). A CVL can be used to give nutrients or medicines to a baby. It is only put in when babies need IV nutrients or medicines for a long time.

How is a CVL placed?

The CVL is put in at the hospital. The nurse or doctor will:

  • Give the baby pain medicine
  • Clean the skin on the chest with a germ-killing solution (antiseptic)
  • Make a small surgical cut in the chest
  • Put in a small metal probe to make a narrow tunnel under the skin
  • Put the catheter through this tunnel, under the skin, into a vein
  • Push the catheter in until the tip is close to the heart
  • Take an x-ray to make sure the CVL is in the right place

What are the risks of a CVL?

  • There is a small risk of infection. The longer the CVL is in, that greater the risk.
  • Blood clots can form in the veins leading to the heart.
  • The catheters can wear away the blood vessel wall.
  • IV fluids or medicine can leak into other parts of the body. This is rare, but this can cause serious bleeding, breathing problems, and problems with the heart.

If the baby has any of these problems, the CVL may be taken out. Talk to your baby's doctor about the risks of a CVL.


Review Date: 10/29/2013
Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

   View History
  Central venous line - infants

Related Links
Request an Appointment Online or call
1-800-789-PENN (7366)
List physicians for this condition
   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania