Caring for your Midline Catheter Caring for your Midline Catheter

Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.

Your consultant has decided that the best way for you to receive your treatment is through a midline catheter, which can be left in place and used repeatedly for your treatment.

What is a Midline Catheter?
A midline catheter is small tube made from polyurethane, intended to administer fluids, antibiotics, and pain management drugs into a vein in your upper arm. The tip sits just below your collar bone and the anchor stays on the outside of the body. This makes it possible for you to have your treatment without the need for repeated needles to be inserted into your vein. It is a flexible
material that softens at body temperature making it a comfortable way of delivering your treatment. You will be asked for your consent before going ahead.

How are they put in?
The line will be inserted in hospital by a nurse specialist or doctor using a sterile technique. Local anaesthetic will be used to numb the skin and then the thin catheter tube is inserted into a vein in
your upper arm. Once the catheter is in place, the nurse will flush the catheter with a solution to prevent blood clotting.


Possible risks and complications

Every procedure carries some risks and complications. One of the main complications is infection, so it is important that you keep the site clean as much as you can.

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms after the line is inserted, you must inform the nurse or your doctor as soon as possible:

• Swelling, redness, warmth, itching and/ or pain around the exit site
• Bleeding or discharge at the exit site
• You feel feverish or have a temperature

Caring for your Midline Catheter
Wash your hands Always wash your hands with soap and water and dry your hands properly before handling your midline catheter. Care of the exit site Check the exit site for any swelling, redness, or pain. Soiled, wet or loose dressing the nurse will clean the area where the line goes into your skin and change the dressing and needle-free connector every week.

If at any time your dressing becomes loose or detached from your skin, you should try to secure it with tape or a bandage and contact your nurse to arrange for a new dressing to be applied as soon
as possible. If you have noticed that more tubing is emerging from the insertion site than before, this might be a sign that the catheter has moved, and you must inform your nurse or doctor.

Bathing and Showers
You can bathe and shower whilst you have a midline catheter, but you must take care to keep the catheter and dressing dry. Cover the entire catheter and dressing with an additional waterproof
dressing, like cling film, and secure all the edges with tape. Do not soak your arm under water and you should never go swimming with a midline catheter in place.

Who to contact?
If at any time you are worried about your midline catheter, you should not hesitate to contact the Community Nurse or the OPAT nurse coordinating your treatment. They will be more than happy
to discuss your concerns and if necessary, check your line.

Contact numbers:
OPAT Nurse 01908996573 or 01908660033 bleep 1234
Community Nurse through your GP surgery
Out of hours: 01908996578 (Acute Medical Unit)

Patient Information Leaflet: Caring for your Lifecath Midline. Vygon, UK
Hamilton, H. Bodenham, A. (2009) Central Venous Catheters. Wiley- Blackwell, Oxford

Your consultant has decided that the best way for you to receive your treatment is through a midline catheter, which can be left in place and used repeatedly for your treatment.