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Midline Catheters

A midline catheter is a type of intravenous (IV) line that is inserted in the arm that extends further than a traditional peripheral IV. A midline catheter can be useful for frequent IV medications, blood transfusions, and blood draws for lab work. Your healthcare provider determines how long the catheter will be in place.


Preventing Infection

We treat midline catheters the same way we care for central lines, which are at risk for bloodstream infections. We will assess the need for the line daily, as well as for signs and symptoms of infection.

Hand hygiene is the most important way that we prevent infections. We also prevent infections by:

Using sterile procedures.

Placing all midline catheter supplies, fluids, and medicines on a clean work surface.

Carefully handling fluids and medications given through the midline catheter.

Wearing gloves when handling the midline catheter (for example, giving medications and changing the dressing).


Partnering with Us to Prevent Infection

You have an important role in helping us to prevent infection:

Performing hand hygiene frequently.

It is important to avoid touching the midline catheter if possible. If necessary to touch the midline catheter, perform hand hygiene prior.

Asking your visitors to perform hand hygiene before and after visiting you. They should not be touching your midline catheter or IV tubing.

Keeping the IV tubing off the floor. Tell a staff member if the IV tubing is on the floor so we can clean it.

Keeping the midline catheter and insertion site dry.

Tell us if you have the chills, feel soreness at the midline catheter site, or notice new drainage around the midline catheter site.

If you have any concerns about your midline catheter or the way it is cared for, please talk to your healthcare provider.


Treating Infection

A bloodstream infection is serious, but often can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.