Daily Care for External Central Catheter

This article has been archived.
Please use for reference only.

Penn Home Infusion Team
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

  1. Take your temperature every day 2 hours after you begin your infusion.
  2. You should also take your temperature if you feel warm, flushed, or have chills.
  3. If your temperature is above 100.5 degrees, it should be taken every four hours, especially during your infusion.
  4. Weigh yourself every day at the same time.
  5. Test your blood for sugar if you are instructed.
  6. Notify Physician if:
    1. Temperature greater than 100.5 degrees
    2. Weight gain or loss of more than 2 Ibs per day.
    3. Blood sugar greater than ______ or less than ______.
  7. Daily temperature, weight, and blood sugar (if you are to do so) are to be recorded in your booklet. Bring this with you to each office visit.
  8. Change your catheter dressing three times a week and if dressing gets wet or loosened. We recommend Mon., Wed., Fri., schedule.
  9. Anti Coagulation (blood thinning medication). See handouts given to you on anticoagulation medications.
  10. Electrical Precautions
    1. Make sure the pump is plugged into a 120 volt 3 prong grounded outlet, or use a 3 prong adapter.
    2. Do not change the electrical plug or cord in any way.
  11. Bathing: You may take a bath or shower, however if your dressing becomes wet it ~ must be changed right away to prevent infection.
  12. Swimming:
    1. You may swim no sooner than 6 weeks after the catheter is inserted.
    2. You may swim only in a CHLORINATED pool.
    3. You may apply an extra transparent dressing over your catheter to help keep it dry.
    4. Change your dressing right away after swimming to prevent infection.
  13. Hot weather: Perspiration can sometimes loosen your dressing. Remember to keep your dressing dry and in place to prevent infection.