We had a great blog post on this subject. Often times, patients are given a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line to help access the blood stream. They can be used in a variety of circumstances, including used in treatments for Cancer, Diabetes, Lyme Disease and TPN.
A PICC line is inserted in a peripheral vein in the arm, such as the cephalic vein, basilic vein or brachial vein, and then advanced proximally toward the heart through increasingly larger veins, until the tip rests in the distal superior vena cava or cavoatrial junction.
PICC lines are usually inserted by physicians, physician assistants (in the US), radiologist assistants (in the US,) respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, or specially trained certified registered nurses and radiologic technologists using ultrasound, chest radiographs, and fluoroscopy to aid in their insertion and to confirm the placement of the line.
The insertable portion of a PICC varies from 25 to 60 cm in length, that being adequate to reach the desired tip position in most patients. Some lines are designed to be trimmed to the desired length before insertion; others are simply inserted to the needed depth with the excess left outside.
PICC lines can remain in position for extended periods of time, from several days to years on end. They are used in both the hospital and community settings. The versatility of PICC lines has led to their increased use (e.g., administering antibiotics, drawing blood/blood transfusions, chemotherapy, prolonged IV antibiotic treatment, and TPN nutrition).
What are some of the benefits of using a PICC line?
What are some of the risks of a PICC line (both during and after placement)?
Watch for these signs:
Call your healthcare provider or PICC line care provider right away if you notice these signs or if you are worried or concerned.We created the Ultra-Soft PICC line cover to help patients who have a PICC line. Our PICC line covers are made of anti-microbial fabric, are machine washable, and provide a unique, breathable mesh window to allow air circulation over the PICC line and visibility to the insertion site. Our PICC line covers 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. Let’s get back to living!