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Venous Access Devices (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Call or visit a health care provider right away if a central venous access device is inserted and any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Swelling of an arm or the area around the device

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

  • Redness, pain, or tenderness around the device

  • Redness or tenderness along the vein in the upper arm (especially if it is a PICC line)

  • Unexplained fever

  • Device malfunction

  • Pain with injection/infusion into the device

  • Difficulties with concentration, memory, reasoning, or staying awake (mental status changes)

  • Excessive tiredness

  • Unexplained weight loss

Go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department in any of the following circumstances:

  • Inability to reach the health care provider

  • Symptoms worsening or new symptoms appearing

In particular, shortness of breath, chest pain, or sudden changes in mental status may indicate a dire emergency, and the person with the venous access device should go to an emergency department immediately.

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