CVL Insertion: Caring for your child at home after the procedure

Your child has had a CVL insertion. This brochure explains how to care for your child at home after the procedure, and when to call for help.

When to see a doctor 

Call your child's doctor, your community care nurse, the vascular access resource nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children at (416) 813-6986, or go to the nearest Emergency Department if your child has any of the following:

  • fever greater than 38ºC (100.4 F)
  • swelling or bleeding at the CVL site or neck
  • leakage or drainage at the CVL site or neck
  • difficulty breathing
  • your child complains of a "funny feeling" in their heart
  • irregular heartbeat, such as skipped beats, or a very fast heart rate
  • neck swelling or bruising

Bathing

Your child may shower or take a bath 24 hours after the CVL is inserted. However, it is important to keep the CVL and neck site dry.

Dressing Care

  • It is normal to see some dry blood on the dressings in the first 24 hours after insertion. There should be no bright red bleeding at the site of the CVL insertion. If there is, contact the Vascular Access Nurse or the Referring Service.
  • Leave the dressing in place.
  • A community care nurse will change the dressing weekly, or as often as needed. This should be arranged by your referring doctor before you leave the hospital.
  • Do not remove the little stitch at the site of the CVL insertion. It will fall out on its own after a few weeks.
  • The CVL line should not be kinked in any way.
  • Do not wet the dressing.

Meals

If your child is feeling well enough after the anaesthetic, they can return to eating what they normally eat. It is also important to encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids for 48 hours after the procedure.

Pain relief

If needed, give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain. Do not give your child any medicines that will thin the blood, such as ASA (Aspirin®) or ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), without checking with a nurse or your child's doctor first.

Activity

After the CVL insertion, your child will need to be quiet, stay home from school or day care, and avoid physical activity for the first 24 hours. Your child may return to school 24 hours after the CVL insertion with restricted activity. Your child should avoid all major activity or physical exertion for 2 full weeks, such as:

  • contact sports
  • gymnastics
  • diving/swimming
  • bicycle riding
  • rollerblading
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • skiing
  • horseback riding

In addition, the CVL should not be put under water, so this means no swimming at any time, and avoid using scissors near the CVL.

Key Points

  • Keep the CVL and neck site dry at all times.
  • Leave the dressing in place.
  • Give your child acetaminophen​ (Tylenol®) for pain.
  • No major physical activity for 2 weeks.
  • No swimming at any time.

​Joao Amaral, MD

Michelle Côté, RN

Candice Sockett, RN(EC), MN:APN

2/14/2014

​At SickKids:

If you have any concerns during the 48 hours after the procedure, you can contact the vascular access resource nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children at (416) 813-6986 during working hours, your referring doctor, the IGT clinic nurse at (416) 813-6054, or go to the nearest Emergency Department.

For all concerns after 48 hours please call your family doctor or the vascular access resource nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children at (416) 813-6986.





Notes: