A central venous catheter is a long, soft plastic tube (usually made of silicone) that is placed via a small cut in the neck, chest, or groin into a large vein in the chest to allow IV fluids and medications to be given over an extended period of time.
Review Date 11/3/2015
Updated by: Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.