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Central line infections can be life-threatening

Having a central venous catheter is sometimes necessary when a person needs intensive medical care. You might have one of these catheters inserted in your groin, neck, or another area if you are going through treatment for cancer or a chronic condition. Some people have these catheters if they are in the intensive care unit.

It is imperative that central venous catheters are properly inserted and maintained. Unlike the surface intravenous catheters, or IVs, a central venous catheter is deeply positioned. It is either in the heart or right near the heart. This makes it ideal for pushing medications or getting blood; however, this is also a dangerous place because of the risk of infection.

Central venous catheters are usually inserted and left for months at a time. During this time, it is imperative that the area is checked for signs of infection. Any signs that something is amiss is a demand for medical care. An infection in a central line might lead to the need for the line to be removed, treatments to be given via another route and possible hospitalization.

An infection in the central line can be life-threatening and might be difficult to treat in some cases. If you have one of these infections and can trace it to the insertion or maintenance procedures not be followed by medical staff, you might decide that you are going to seek compensation. This could help you recover money that you spent on the care for the infection, as well as other impacts that the infection had on your life.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Frequently Asked Questions about Catheters," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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