Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Central Vascular Access Device (CVAD): Changing the Dressing

Central Vascular Access Device (CVAD): Changing the Dressing

Overview

These are general tips. Your nurse may change and care for your CVAD at home. Or a nurse will teach you how to take care of it. Be sure to follow the specific instructions you are given. Call your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

In general, a clear dressing needs to be changed once a week, such as every Monday. A gauze dressing needs to be changed 2 or 3 times a week, such as every Monday and Thursday or every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Also, change your dressing right away if it becomes wet, loose, or dirty.

  1. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water.

    Rinse and dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towels.

  2. Prepare a clean work area, such as a clean counter in your kitchen or bathroom.
    • You may wish to spread several clean paper towels over your work area.
    • If you change your dressing in the kitchen, do not leave food on the counter.
  3. Gather the supplies you need for your dressing change.

    Your supplies may include:

    • An antiseptic, such as alcohol prep pads and swabs or Betadine swabs. Some health professionals recommend chlorhexidine. Your health professional will tell you which type of antiseptic is preferred.
    • Gauze and tape bandage or a clear dressing.
  4. Wash and dry your hands again.
  5. Open the packages that contain the antiseptic swabs.

    Lay them on the clean work surface.

  6. Remove the old dressing.
    • Do not tug on the CVAD.
    • Do not touch the exit site.
  7. Inspect the site by looking for redness, swelling, or drainage.

    Notice whether the area around the CVAD is tender or sore when you remove the bandage or move it.

  8. Rewash and redry your hands.
  9. Remove one alcohol swab from the package and clean around the exit site.

    Clean in a circular fashion, starting at the exit site and moving out.

  10. Remove an antiseptic swab from the package and clean around the exit site.
    • Clean in a circular fashion, starting at the insertion site and moving out.
    • Repeat with a second antiseptic swab.
    • Do not use a swab more than once.
    • Discard each swab after use.
  11. Clean the outside of the CVAD.
    • Use an alcohol prep pad to grip it at the exit site. Use another alcohol pad to gently clean the outside of it.
    • Start from the exit site and move toward the cap.
    • If it has 2 or 3 lines, use a fresh pad to clean each line.
  12. Apply gauze or a clear dressing.

    If you are using a gauze dressing, secure it with tape.

  13. Loop the CVAD under one corner of the dressing or place it over one corner of the dressing.
    • Secure it with tape.
    • You may need to experiment with different positions to find the one most comfortable for you.
    • To safeguard against it getting caught or pulled during your activities, make sure it does not hang or flop loosely.
  14. Dispose of the old dressing and any used materials as directed by your nurse.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Central Vascular Access Device (CVAD)

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details