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How to care for a central line at home

Having a child at home with a central line (also called central venous catheter) can be difficult. Children and teens sometimes need central lines for home parenteral nutrition [also called total parenteral nutrition (TPN)] or cancer treatment. It is important for everyone to take steps to ensure the line is properly maintained in order to avoid infections or other problems. The following videos provide step-by-step instructions on safely using central lines, and their associated equipment, in your home.

Cleaning your hands


Making a clean workspace


Putting on a mask


Putting on sterile gloves


How to flush a catheter


Priming and connecting IV tubing


Changing the needleless connector


Changing the dressing


These videos were created by staff at Boston Children’s Hospital to help complement the teaching done by your healthcare providers. Watching these videos is not a substitute for medical care. You should not use this information in place of a face-to-face visit.