British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 8, Iss. 15, 12 Aug 1999, pp 980 - 989
As central venous catheters (CVCs) become more widely used in todayís healthcare environment, nurses require expert knowledge in relation to CVC maintenance to prevent complications and maximize efforts to optimize the individualís health status. This is especially so since CVCs have begun to be used outside intensive care units, e.g. in general wards, and can be associated with high incidences of infection, occlusion and subsequent compromise in patient health. Nurses are responsible for the maintenance and use of central access devices, such as CVCs, resulting in a need for literature specific to the nursing aspects of CVC management. This article addresses many nursing issues pertaining to care of the central line, focusing on evidence- and research-based literature, and also reviews the literature to make recommendations for practice.