What's a central line?

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I ask because it seems to come up in almost every episode, notably when Weaver got suspended for putting in that girl against Romano's orders. Why was it such a big deal? Also, a few episodes back, Abby had a patient with cancer who died, apparently, because she injured his kidney. Greene said she should've put in a central line. Thanks.

-- Felicity (felicity08@juno.com), May 08, 2000


central line is a thin catheter inserted in a major artery (leads to the heart)-complications run higher with inexperience such as puncturing the lung or infection or blood clots

-- rabbit (icon51@aol.com), May 09, 2000.

A central in is NOT in an artery. It is placed into veins. Such vessels would be carrying blood to the heart (w/ 1 exception) ususally placed within the sub clavian vein which lies under the clavicle (collar bone)

-- JME (ssdd60@hotmail.com), May 10, 2000.

A central line is three separate lines which are inserted in a neck vein under GA. There are three lines so that blood can be taken, IVs run in and venous pressure taken all at the same time.

-- Mark Tehan (derektehan@aol.com), May 17, 2001.

Is a central line the same thing as a "port" that is put into a patient's chest if the patient frequently needs blood tests, transfusions, IVs, etc.? A port is used long-term and skin grows over it, so they insert the needle at that particular spot. A port needs to be cleaned out with a needle occasionally so the tube(s) don't get blocked. Is this a central line?

-- Driad (driad@lycos.com), May 17, 2001.

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