HF 6436

Home Care After a Hemodialysis Catheter Placement

You had a catheter placed today. It goes into a large vein in either the neck or groin. We will use this to access your blood for dialysis treatments.


You may have some pain after placement. Use only Tylenol® or prescribed pain medicines. Avoid aspirin, Motrin®, Aleve®, or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug since they could cause bleeding. After two days, call if you still have pain that is keeping you from sleeping or caring for yourself.


Some slight bleeding can occur. If you have blood soak through your dressings, or notice a lump under your skin, please call. Try to hold pressure right over the area. If the bleeding does not stop with the pressure, have someone drive you to the emergency room. Call 911 if you can’t make it to the emergency room safely.

Blood Thinners

If you have been on Coumadin® or Plavix®, speak to your doctor about when these should be resumed. They are not given for a few days before and after placement in most cases, but ask your doctor what is best for you.

Care of the Site

No routine care is needed until you get to your next treatment. If you have had some oozing, you can cover it with more gauze and tape and leave it until your treatment. Keeping the dressing on the catheter is important to prevent infection. Your dialysis center will change the dressing. Keep sponge bathing until you have checked with your home dialysis unit. No tub baths or showers until then.

When to Call

Infection can quickly lead to very serious illness. Call if you see any of these problems:

  • Redness around the site.

  • Pus at the site.

  • Tenderness at the site.

  • Fever greater than 100.5° F

  • Severe bleeding or trouble breathing, call 911.

Who to Call

Dialysis Unit

Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 6:30 pm


After hours, call (608) 262 -0486. This is the paging operator. Ask for the dialysis nurse on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The nurse will call you back.

If you live out of the area, please call: 1-800-323-8942.