It’s possible for an infection to develop either inside the central line or around the exit site. Contact your hospital doctor or nurse if you have:
- swelling, redness or pain at the exit site
- discoloured fluid coming from the exit site
- a high temperature (fever).
If you get an infection, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. If the infection doesn’t get better, the line may be removed.
It’s possible for a blood clot (thrombosis) to form in your vein at the end of the line. You may be given medication to help prevent this. Contact your hospital doctor or nurse if you have:
- swelling, redness or tenderness in the arm, chest area or up into the neck (on the same side as the central line)
- shortness of breath
- tightness in your chest.
If a clot does form, you will be given some medication to dissolve it. Your line may have to be removed.
Air in the central line
It’s important not to let air get into your central line. The clamps should always be closed when the line isn’t being used. The line must not be left unclamped when the caps or bungs aren't in place.
Groshong® lines don't have clamps. They have a special valve inside the line that stops air getting into it.
Break or cut in the central line
It's important that the central line is not broken or cut. Don’t use scissors near the line. Only use the clamp on the thicker, strengthened part of the line.
It's not very common to get a cut or split in the line. If this happens, try to clamp or tie your line immediately above the break. This is to seal it between the split and where the line comes out of your body. Contact your hospital straight away. The nurses may be able to repair the line. If this can't be done, it will be removed.