What is a central line?

10 November 2010
A central line, also known as a Hickman line, is a tube which is used to give chemotherapy. It goes into the chest and directly into one of the major blood vessels.

The end of the central line protrudes from the chest and is sealed off with a cap. It usually stays in place for the duration of treatment.

Having a central line avoids the needs for repeated injections as all intravenous medication can be given through the line. The line can also be used to collect blood samples which are frequently required during leukaemia treatment.

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