Some illnesses require long-term, intravenous (IV) medication. A PICC line is a reliable method for administering fluids, nourishment, or treatments. Unlike a standard IV, it stays in place for weeks or even months. Although similar to a standard IV in some ways, a PICC line has specific procedures and requirements in order to prevent infection. PICC lines are easier on patients, especially those diagnosed with a serious illness or chronic condition who require repeated IV draws for blood analysis, IV medications, or fluid replacements.
A peripherally inserted central catheter or PICC line is a long, flexible catheter tube with a guide wire inside. For most patients, a medical professional inserts one end of the PICC line into the arm and threads it through a vein, into a larger vein in the chest. The other end of the PICC line consists of one to three lumens with caps. These lumens connect the PICC line to the IV bag of fluids or medications.
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