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Care After Central Line Removal


After your healthcare professional removes your central line device, you will need to prevent infections and other serious problems. Clean and care for your wound as directed. Watch for signs of infection, such as redness or a fever.


Call 911 if:

  • You suddenly have trouble breathing.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your site begins to bleed.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have severe pain and numbness in your arm or leg that the device was in.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have redness and swelling of the site.
  • The site is draining pus or has a foul odor.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Manage the catheter site:

  • Leave the bandage in place for at least 24 hours, or as directed. Change the bandage if it gets wet or dirty.
  • You may need to remove the first bandage. Clean the area with soap and water, pat dry, and put a clean bandage on as directed.
  • If you have an incision, keep it dry until it is completely healed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

If you have stitches, you may need to return to have them removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.