PICC – Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter
A PICC catheter is a long, thin, narrow tube placed in a vein in your arm, most often above the elbow. The PICC line is about 18 to 24 inches long and goes into a large vein near your heart. It can be left in for a longer amount of time to administer medications and draw labs.
PICC lines are used for many reasons.
- To draw blood
- To administer fluids, such as:
- Comfort - When you have a line, you may not need to be stuck for frequent IV changes or most lab draws.
- Safety - The line may be left in place longer than a standard IV. It helps to save your veins and keep the ones not being used in good shape.
As with any procedure, there are risks. Some of the risks include:
- Catheter movement from the site, damage to the tube, or malfunction.
- Pain or spasms in the shoulder, neck, arm, or where the line enters the body.
- Numbness and/or tingling in arm or hand.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/06/2012
Copyright © 11/06/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6347
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