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Venous Access Devices (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Patient Comments

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/21/2014
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Venous Access Devices:

Venous Access Device - Patient Experience

Do you now or have you ever had a venous access device? Please describe your experience.

Venous Access Device - When to Seek Medical Care

Did you experience complications related to your venous access device? What was the problem and how was it treated?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Central Venous Access »

The demand for long-term central venous access devices has risen over the past few decades.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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