What Is a Central Line?

A central line is an intravenous catheter or IV placed into a large vein. A central line is needed to give the medical team access to a large vein that can be used to give fluids, measure the amount of fluid in the body, or to give medication that might be irritating to smaller veins. Your child will be sedated for the central line insertion. Central lines are inserted in the operating room. In some situations, central lines are inserted at the bedside or in the treatment room. Everyone who uses this line will wear gloves. Cleaning the line with Betadine and alcohol should be done before each use. A sterile dressing change will be done around the insertion site on a regular basis to prevent infection.

Contact Us Refer a Patient

Where Is a Central Line Placed?

The pediatric surgery team may choose one of these sites to insert your child's central line:

  • subclavian vein (chest)
  • femoral vein (groin)
  • jugular vein (neck)

Because a central venous catheter may be more difficult to place, problems can sometimes arise. These can include injury to nearby arteries, the lung and other structures. If your child will be going home with a central line, teaching and instruction will be given for care of the catheter.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below:

Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery
6410 Fannin Street, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77030
(832) 325-7234

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Friday except major holidays)

To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.


Thank you for contacting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. We have received your inquiry, and a team member will contact you soon.

If you need more immediate assistance, please call us at (713) 704-KIDS (5437).