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A PICC line is a thin, soft, long catheter (tube) that is inserted into a vein in your arm, leg or neck. The tip of the catheter is positioned in a large vein that carries blood into the heart. The PICC line is used for long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications, and for blood draws.


Both PICC;s and Midlines are used instead of Peripheal IV's as the can enable medicine or nutrition to be given over a longer period of time. 

They can reduced the discomfort of multiple Peripheal IV's each time a new one is needed and allow for home therapy. PICC's may have more than one channel or lumen to allow different fluids or infusions at the same time and because PICC's are central catheter lines, they can stay in place longer and allow for stronger concetrated medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use a PICC line instead of an IV?

A PICC line is thicker and more durable than a regular IV. It's also much longer and goes farther into the vein. Health care providers use a PICC line instead of a regular IV line because: It can stay in place longer (up to 3 months and sometimes a bit more).

How serious is PICC line?

What are the risks or possible complications of having a PICC line? Although rare, the risks associated with the PICC line procedure can include infection, bleeding, blood clot, increased venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, breakage of instrumentation during the procedure

Can you go home with a PICC line?

At home, you need to take care of your PICC to keep it working. Because a PICC line has a high infection risk, you must take extra care washing your hands and preventing the spread of germs. This sheet will help you remember what to do to care for your PICC at home.

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