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Resource type: Article

Central line ("Central Venous Pressure" or "CVP line")

A central line (also called a Central Venous Pressure or CVP line) is a sterile plastic tube or cannula that is inserted inserted into a large vein, usually in the neck or groin. It is used to administer intravenous fluids, liquid nutrition and some medications. Some medications need to be given via a central line, where the richer blood supply dilutes it. It is also used to take blood samples.A central line is usually stitched in, to avoid it becoming dislodged, and an X ray is taken to make sure that it's in the right position.

Are there any complications of having lines in?

The main risks are that the line or cannula can become dislodged. Other risks include bleeding, discomfort, inflammation and infection. The nurses will regularly check for problems, and lines are regularly changed to reduce the risk of infection. We aim to remove lines as soon as they are no longer neded, in order to reduce the risk of infection.