Central Lines

Line-Related Infection



    • Clinical Features

    • Erythema
    • Pain / tenderness
    • Warmth
    • Swelling
    • Pus from the site
    • Fevers / systemic features
    • Causes of Line-Related Infection

    • Poor aseptic technique
    • Prolonged use of the same cannula
    • Prevention

    • Proper aseptic technique
    • Don’t insert a needle through infected tissue
    • Don’t leave the line in for too long
    • Management

    • Remove the catheter and send the tip for culture
    • Observe the site
    • Treat for cellulitis or sepsis if clinically indicated
Last updated on January 1st, 2018
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge


Baik SY, Kim EK, Hong SK. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection. 2015 Apr 1;48(2):S75-6.
 Bannon MP, Heller SF, Rivera M. Anatomic considerations for central venous cannulation. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2011;4:27-39. Czepizak CA, O’Callaghan JM, Venus B. Evaluation of formulas for optimal positioning of central venous catheters. Chest. 1995 Jun 30;107(6):1662-4.
Graham AS, Ozment C, Tegtmeyer K, Lai S, Braner DA. Central venous catheterization. N Engl J Med. 2007 May 24;356(21):e21.
 Vesely TM. Central venous catheter tip position: a continuing controversy. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. 2003 May 31;14(5):527-34.