Skip to Content

Perma-Cath Placement


A perma-cath is a catheter placed through a vein into or near your right atrium. Your right atrium is the right upper chamber of your heart. A perma-cath is used for dialysis in an emergency or until a long-term device is ready to use. After your procedure, you will have some pain and swelling on your chest and neck. You may have some bruises on your chest and neck. You may also have 2 dressings, one on your chest and one on your neck.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
  • Your catheter comes out

Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have new swelling in your arm, neck, face, or chest on your right side.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your catheter gets wet.
  • Your bruises or pain get worse.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Your incision is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Avoid lifting with your right arm. You could put a strain on your incision before it starts to heal. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your normal activities.
  • Keep your dressings dry. Do not take a shower or swim. You may take a tub bath, but do not get your dressings wet. Water in your wound can cause bacteria to grow and cause an infection. If your dressing gets wet, dry it off and cover it with dry sterile gauze. Call your healthcare provider. Do not use soaps or ointments.
  • Do not change your dressings. Your healthcare provider will change your dressings. Your dressings should stay in place until your healthcare provider removes them. The dressing on your chest will stay as long as you have the catheter in place. The dressing prevents infection.
  • Do not remove the red and blue caps from the end of your catheter. The caps prevent air from getting into your catheter.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

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