What is a picc catheter used for?
A peripherally placed central catheter (PICC) is a long, thin tube that is inserted into the body through a vein in the upper arm. The end of the catheter ends in a large vein near the heart. Your health care provider has determined that you need a PICC line. The following information will give you an idea of what to expect when the PICC is inserted.What is a peripherally placed central catheter (PICC)?
The PICC helps deliver nutrients and medications to your body. It is also used to draw blood when you need blood tests.A PICC is used when you need intravenous (IV) treatment over a long period of time or if regular blood draws have become difficult.How is a PICC inserted?
The PICC insertion procedure can be done in the radiology (x-ray) room or at your hospital bedside. The steps for insertion are:The catheter that was inserted is attached or another catheter that remains outside the body. You will receive medication and other fluids through this catheter.
Keep all of your catheter clips closed at all times. It is a good idea to change the catheter end caps (called “clips” or injection caps) when you change your dressing. Your provider will tell you how to do this.When to contact a medical professional.
Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Aebersold ML, Gonzalez L. Central vascular access devices. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold ML, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2017:chap 29.Read more.
English version revised by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Translation and localization by: DrTango, Inc.
Doctors may change the dressing the day after your PCC or midline catheter is placed. After the first dressing change, ask the doctors when and how often you need to change the dressing. If there are no signs of infection where the catheter enters through your skin, then dressing changes can be weekly. The dressing should also be changed if it gets wet, wet, loose, or dirty. Change the dressing if it has moved out of place, no longer covers the area, or has stuck to the area where the catheter has entered your skin.
You have the right to participate in planning your care. Learn all you can about your condition and how to treat it. Discuss your treatment options with your doctors so that together you can decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
This information is for educational use only. It is not intended to give you medical advice about disease or treatment. Consult with your physician, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to find out if it is safe and effective for you.Further informationAlways consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Types of PICC
A PICC, also called a PICC line, is a long, flexible catheter (a thin tube) that is placed in a vein in the upper part of one of the arms. There are different types of PICCs. Your doctor will decide which type is right for you.
Having a PICC helps you not need as many needles. A PICC can stay in your body throughout your treatment, and for up to 18 months. Your doctor will remove it when you no longer need it.
You may need to stop taking some of your medications before your procedure. Talk to your doctor about which medications are safe to stop taking. Here are some common examples.
Read the resource Common medications that contain aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or vitamin E. It contains important information about which medications to avoid before your procedure and which ones to take instead. You can find it online or ask your healthcare provider for a copy.