What is a central venous line?
The central venous line is a specific access portal to a larger vein in the human body and can contain either single or multiple separate channels which makes the line rather efficient in its functioning. The use of central venous lines could vary depending on the patient’s condition and therefore the site, the number of lumens, type of catheter…etc would be part of the decisions made by the clinicians depending on the requirement.
What are the indications for using a CVP line?
Being present in a larger vein, the catheters or the central venous lines will indicate the true pressure reading within the venous system which will be useful to maintain the optimal pressure during the treatment process. At the same time, such lines are useful for long term treatment regimes such as in the case of total parenteral nutrition, blood transfusion, chemotherapy, dialysis…etc and it may also be useful in instances where repeated blood samples are required for monitoring purposes. The CVP lines is also useful for long term care of ICU patients and certain types of central venous lines will make life easier when a person is managed at home with the necessity to give intravenous medications, fluids and nutrition. Lastly, but not least, inability to access the venous system through peripheral veins will also be a reason to use CVP lines instead.
What is the process of inserting central venous lines?
The insertion of a CVP line should be a highly sterile procedure as introduction of infections can be detrimental to the management of these ill patients. Thus, the site of the skin will be wiped with disinfecting agents and the doctor as well his or her assistant will wear sterile gloves and will make use of sterile instruments for the procedure. Following inserting a needle into the central vein, the catheter will be inserted into the vein using a guiding wire. After inserting, the catheter will be stabilized at the site using sutures or staplers. The procedure could be done under local anesthesia and there may be alterations in the procedure depending on the type of central venous line that is inserted. Other procedures that will follow the insertion of a CVP line would include placing a dressing over the site, doing an x-ray to assess the site or else the occurrence of complications as well as frequent flushing of the catheter in order to prevent thrombus formation and therefore blockage.
What are the complications of CVP line insertion?
Among the complications of this procedure, bleeding, introduction of infections, pneumothorax, irregular heart rhythms, collapse of the lungs…etc could be named as the most important although in experienced hands, the procedure is as safe as any other measure in accessing a vein in the body.