Christie Clinic - Medicine for Your Life

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Central venous line - infants

  • Alternative Names

    CVL - infants; Central catheter - infants - surgically placed

  • Information

    A cental venous line (CVL) is a long, soft plastic tube, called a catheter, that is placed into a large vein in the chest.

    WHY IS A CVL USED?

    The main reason for a CVL is to deliver nutrients to a baby for a long period of time. It is most often used when attempts to place a percutaneous inserted central catheter (PICC) have failed.

    Infants most likely to need a CVL include those with certain intestinal problems who need to get nutrition through their veins, and those who must receive IV medicines for a long time..

    HOW IS A CVL PLACED?

    CVL placement is done in the hospital. The baby will receive pain medicine. The skin is cleaned with a germ-killing solution (antiseptic). The health care provider will make a small surgical cut in the skin away from the vein to be entered. A small metal probe is used to create a narrow tunnel under the skin. The catheter goes through this tunnel, into a vein, and moved close to the heart. The position of the CVL is determined by an x-ray.

    WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A CVL?

    There is a small risk of infection. The longer the CVL is in place the greater the risk for infection. Blood clots can form in the large veins leading to the heart. If infection or blood clots form, the CVL may need to be removed and other therapies given. You should talk with your doctor.

    Though the catheters are very soft and flexible, at times they can cause the blood vessel wall to wear away, which leads to leakage of the IV fluid or medicine into other body areas. In very rare instances, this can cause serious bleeding, breathing difficulty, and poor heart function.

Review Date: 12/13/2009

Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on University Photo Christie Clinic on University
101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care
1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant Photo Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant
1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Rantoul Photo Christie Clinic in Rantoul
209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care
1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 (217) 586-6600 or (217)366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care
3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
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300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
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1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
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109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
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2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
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1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
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800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
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2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
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1109 A. North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
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105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
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1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
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1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
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611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
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200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
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501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
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410 E. University Champaign, IL 61820
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1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
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107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352