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Non-Tunneled Central Lines

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is a non-tunneled central line?

A non-tunneled central line is a type of short-term IV catheter. A non-tunneled central line may be put into a large vein near your neck, chest, or groin. Before you leave the hospital, you will be shown how to use, flush, and care for your central line. You will also be taught how to prevent an infection.

Non-Tunneled Central Venous Access Device

Why may I need a non-tunneled central line?

Non-tunneled central lines are used to give you medicines and treatments. They are often put in if you have to give IV medicines to yourself at home. Healthcare providers may not be able to use smaller veins in your body. In an emergency, a non-tunneled central line gives easy access to your bloodstream, and medicine may work faster.

What do I need to remember about the central line?

The following can help prevent an infection or other problems:

What can I do to prevent an infection?

The area around your catheter may get infected, or you may get an infection in your bloodstream. A bloodstream infection is called a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI). A CLABSI is caused by bacteria getting into your bloodstream through your catheter. This can lead to severe illness. The following are ways you can help prevent a CLABSI:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.