During venous access, a health care professional inserts a thin, flexible tube, called a catheter or port, into one of your veins. The venous access catheter is used to collect blood for laboratory testing and to deliver fluids to your body, including additional blood, liquid nutrients, and medication. The catheter can remain in place for a few hours or for a few weeks, as needed.
Common types of venous access include:
- Central venous catheter, also called a central line catheter, placed on the lower side of your neck
- Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line
- Peripheral intravenous (IV) lines
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals doctors use venous access in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Find a Doctor online or call (702) 616-4900 to get on the path to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
When are Venous Access Catheters Used?
Your doctor may recommend venous access for several reasons, including:
- Blood tests. When multiple tests are needed, venous access lets your health care provider take blood without having to “stick” you with a needle each time.
- Artificial nutrition. Concentrated nutrients in liquid form are usually given through a central line.
- Blood products. Plasma is usually given through an IV, but can also be given via PICC or central line.
- Intravenous fluids and medications. Dehydration treatments are typically given through an IV line in the hand or arm. They can also be administered through a PICC line or a central line.
Understanding Your Options for Venous Access in Henderson and Las Vegas, NV
What to expect during a venous access procedure depends on the type of access line your doctor recommends.
A central line insertion is a minor surgical interventional procedure. A radiologist will insert a needle into the vein to guide the catheter. The catheter is threaded into the exposed end of the needle. Once the catheter is properly placed inside the vein, the needle is removed, and the catheter is sutured (stitched) into place.
To insert a PICC line, your health care professional may first use an ultrasound to check your vein’s position. After the area is numbed with a local anesthetic, the catheter is inserted and the PICC line is sutured into place.
To start an IV line, a health care professional will put a tourniquet on your arm above where the IV will go. After the area is cleaned, the needle and catheter are inserted. Once in place, the needle is removed, leaving the catheter in the vein. The catheter is connected to IV tubing, which will be changed about once a day. The IV site will be rotated every few days as needed.
If you go home with your venous access, your nurse will tell you how to take care of the tubing and the site.
At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals, doctors administer tests and medications with venous access in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.