Glossary Entry: Non-tunneled Catheter


Definition: A non-tunneled catheter is a type of catheter that is inserted directly into a large vein, typically in the neck, chest, or groin, to provide temporary vascular access for medical procedures or treatments. It is primarily used for short-term use, such as in emergency situations or for critically ill patients.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Non-tunneled catheters come in various sizes and materials, with specific variations designed for different medical applications. These may include central venous catheters, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC), or hemodialysis catheters.


Common Uses: Non-tunneled catheters are commonly used in situations where immediate, temporary access to the vascular system is required, such as for administration of medications, fluids, or blood products, as well as for hemodynamic monitoring.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion of a non-tunneled catheter involves aseptic technique and careful placement to minimize the risk of infection and complications. It is typically inserted under ultrasound guidance, and specific care should be taken to prevent malpositioning or displacement.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with non-tunneled catheters include infection, thrombosis, bleeding, and catheter malposition. Strict adherence to infection control protocols and regular monitoring can help mitigate these risks.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of non-tunneled catheters include regular dressing changes, flushing with heparinized solution to prevent clot formation, and monitoring for signs of infection or malfunction.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Related devices or accessories commonly used with non-tunneled catheters may include guidewires, catheter securement devices, and infusion pumps.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in non-tunneled catheters include the use of antimicrobial or antithrombotic coatings to reduce infection and clotting risks, as well as the development of ultrasound-guided insertion techniques for improved accuracy.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Non-tunneled catheters are subject to regulatory standards for medical devices and must be used in accordance with established safety guidelines to ensure patient safety and care quality.