The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Having a Central Line

A central line is long thin flexible rubber tube which is inserted into your child’s chest. The end of the central line sits in the large blood vessel near to the heart or in part of the heart. Depending on which central line your child has depends on what the other end of the line looks like. There are two main types of central line which look very different - external and internal lines.

Central lines are usually inserted when a child needs long term access to a vein during their treatment. This might be for:

  • Medication
  • Special intravenous feeding
  • Fluids
  • Blood and blood product transfusions
  • Blood tests.

Having a central line may mean your child will not need as many needles over the course of their treatment. However not all blood tests can be taken from a central line, so it is important not to promise your child that they will never have another needle. Sometimes finger pricks or taking blood from a vein in the hand or arm is still necessary.

Please click here to download more information about having a central line.