How to remove a non-tunnelled central venous catheter
Intended for healthcare professionals
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How to remove a non-tunnelled central venous catheter

Lisa Dougherty Nurse consultant IV therapy, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey, England

Rationale and key points

This article aims to help nurses to undertake the removal of non-tunnelled central venous catheters (CVCs) in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner. A non-tunnelled CVC is inserted directly into a central vein with its tip usually located in the vena cava or right atrium.

Insertion of a CVC can increase the risk of pneumothorax, haemorrhage, air embolism and infection. Air embolism is a potentially catastrophic, although uncommon, event that occurs as a consequence of air entering the venous system. This can be avoided if the CVC is removed correctly.

CVCs may remain in situ for 10-14 days, and are removed when therapy is completed or as a result of complications.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How reading this article will change your practice when removing a non-tunnelled CVC.

Any further learning needs you have identified.

Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:

Nursing Standard. 30, 16, 36-38. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.16.36.s44


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 16 January 2015

Accepted: 07 July 2015

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