Central Vein Access: Placing the Catheter
Your kidneys remove waste from your blood. When your kidneys fail, they can no longer do this important work. Hemodialysis can take over the job of keeping your blood clean. Before this treatment can be done, an access (way to get to your blood) is needed. One type of access is a central vein access. A small, soft tube (catheter) is placed into a vein in your neck or chest. You may use a central vein access temporarily, while another type of access develops. Or, it may be your permanent access for hemodialysis.
Placing the Catheter
You will be given medication to prevent pain during the placement.
A small opening is made in the skin over your vein.
One end of the catheter is inserted a few inches into the vein until the tip is close to the heart.
The other end of the catheter extends a few inches out from your skin. This end is clamped off when not being used for hemodialysis.
Remember. . .
A central vein access is often used only for a short time. When you no longer need the access, the catheter will be taken out and your skin will heal.