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Inserting a central line is a common procedure performed at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
A central line, or catheter, is a temporary intravenous (IV) line inserted into a vein to provide medication, fluids, nutrients, or even to take blood samples. It is often used to avoid multiple needle sticks, preserve veins, and for more stable long-term access. The nursing staff is educated on the latest techniques and care of IV lines, reducing potential complications. Whether for medical purposes or for treatment, our nurses and staff are committed to excellent central line care.
A central line is a long, flexible catheter used to deliver fluids or medications over a prolonged length of time, usually several weeks or more. These catheters are often placed in the arm, leg, neck, or chest. A catheter is placed through the skin and into a large vein, and then leads into a larger vein terminating near the heart.
Our doctors, staff, and vascular access nurses educate parents and patients about caring for the IV line and how to avoid infections or complications, while in the home setting. While in the hospital, the bedside nurses or vascular access team will perform this care.
What is a central line-associated bloodstream infection?
A central line-associated bloodstream infection, or CLABSI, is presence of bacteria in the bloodstream that may have been introduced through a central line device. It is diagnosed by sending a sample of the patient’s blood to the Microbiology Laboratory to be cultured. Symptoms of a CLABSI include fever (or low body temperature for small infants).
How does a CLABSI happen?
A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria is introduced in the blood via the central line.
How often are central line infections reported at Children’s?
In 2018, we reported one central line infection for every 614 days that patients have a central line in our hospital.
How do we prevent CLABSIs at Children’s Hospital?
Here at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we take precautions when inserting and caring for the line:
Care and Maintenance
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.