What is a PICC Line, anyway?

One of the first questions I get asked after describing my position at Care+Wear is, “what is a PICC line?”  PICC stands for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Line.  PICC lines are used for a variety of conditions that require frequent administration of drugs to a patient’s blood stream.  Some of the conditions include cancers, diabetes, and lyme disease.

A PICC line extends from the outside of the arm through the shoulder and into one of the major veins of the heart.  The line takes about an hour to insert and can stay in place for four to six months.  Once inserted, the patient has a stable location for receiving fluids, medication, or blood that they may need.  The PICC line can also be used as a way to monitor a patient’s blood without having to constantly draw blood from the veins.  


While a PICC line can be efficient for health care providers and can save the patient some pain of constant needle pricks, it does not come without complications.  One of the main issues in caring for a PICC line is properly cleaning and covering the line.  The PICC line needs to be cleaned and covered with enough pressure to hold it in place but not enough pressure to crack the needle.

Care+Wear hopes to help people with PICC lines better care for their lines through proper covering.  Our sleeves are made of anti-microbial fabric, are machine washable, and provide a breathable mesh window to allow air circulation over the PICC line.   Our bands help eliminate some of the challenges of having a PICC line by making it easier to securely and healthily cover the line without having to worry about exposure to outside agents or low quality materials.

Sources consulted:
http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/central-venous-catheters-topic-overview
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/508939_6



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