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What is a PICC line?
A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a very thin plastic tube. It is used to either give you medicine, IV fluids or to draw blood from you. When you have a PICC, the catheter will be placed in a vein in your arm. The end of the catheter will rest in a vein in your upper chest near your heart.
What are the benefits of having a PICC line?
The benefits of having a PICC line are:
• A PICC line is safe for long-term use. You can receive medicine or liquid nutrition through your PICC for up to one year if needed.
• A PICC line has a lower risk for infection than the other options.
• A PICC line can be used to draw blood for lab tests so you do not need repeated needle sticks.
• A PICC line can be cared for at home.
How is a PICC line inserted?
PICC lines are inserted in the X-ray department, in your hospital room, in an outpatient IV therapy clinic, or at the conveniece of the patient's home. An ultrasound machine is used to find the best vein for the insertion site. The staff will take steps to make sure your risk of infection is very low during the procedure.
The PICC line procedure will take about one hour. The pain you will feel will be the same as you would feel when an IV is started. A numbing medicine is used to help lessen the pain. Sometimes an X-ray is done right after the procedure to make sure the PICC line is in the right place. However, Procedural Medical Solutions uses the Sherlock 3CG Tip Confirmation System which uses the patient's cardiac electrical activity to position the tip of the PICC into the correct location. Using x-ray to confirm PICC tip placement wastes clinical care time, exposes patients to harmful radiation, and delays medical therapy. The Sherlock 3CG* Tip Confirmation System (TCS) is confirmed by the nurse at the bedside and infusion therapy can begin immediately without the need for a confirmatory chest x-ray.
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