Glossary Entry: Double Lumen Catheter


Definition: A double lumen catheter is a medical device used for venous access and hemodialysis. It consists of two separate lumens within a single catheter, allowing for the simultaneous removal of blood for dialysis and the return of filtered blood to the patient.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Double lumen catheters come in various sizes and designs, with some specifically tailored for pediatric patients or those with smaller veins. These variations cater to the specific needs of different patient demographics.


Common Uses: Double lumen catheters are commonly used for temporary hemodialysis access in patients with acute kidney injury or end-stage renal disease. They provide a convenient and efficient method for performing hemodialysis without the need for frequent vascular access procedures.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: Insertion of a double lumen catheter involves careful placement into a central vein, typically the internal jugular or femoral vein. The Seldinger technique is commonly used for insertion, with careful attention to avoiding complications such as pneumothorax or misplaced catheter tips.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential risks associated with double lumen catheters include infection, thrombosis, and catheter malposition. Close monitoring and proper care are essential to mitigate these risks.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Regular flushing and monitoring of the catheter lumens are necessary to prevent clot formation and maintain optimal functioning. Strict aseptic techniques should be followed to reduce the risk of infection.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Hemodialysis machines and accessories such as tubing, dialyzers, and vascular access needles are commonly used in conjunction with double lumen catheters during hemodialysis procedures.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in double lumen catheter design prioritize features that minimize infection risk and facilitate ease of insertion and maintenance.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Regulatory guidelines emphasize the importance of proper training for healthcare providers involved in the insertion and management of double lumen catheters to ensure patient safety and optimal outcomes.