A peripherally inserted central catheter, often referred to as a PICC line, is generally used to reach the veins located near your heart. The line includes a long, thin, flexible tube that a doctor or other medical professional inserts into a vein in an arm, leg, or neck. These lines are often used to deliver antibiotics, medications, or nutrients to the body. Sometimes, the line is used to draw blood from patients. Once the line has been placed, it can be used to accomplish multiple tasks that would otherwise require a lot of needle sticks.
Is It Safe To Have a PICC Line?
Although PICC lines are frequently used, not every patient is a candidate. For example, if a patient has kidney problems or may have them in the future, a PICC line in the upper arm could interfere with that patient’s chances of having appropriate access sites for a shunt in the future. It is also possible that PICC lines could increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis. However, only highly trained professionals are allowed to undertake the procedure, and many steps have been taken to improve the safety of this valuable medical resource.
Who Can Insert PICC Lines?
Although these lines are used commonly and are both durable and reliable, many patients still feel some trepidation about the insertion procedure. It may be comforting to know that the lines are inserted by registered nurses, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners. The PICC line certification California requirements are fairly strict to ensure proper training before professionals are allowed to complete the procedure.
How Are PICC Lines Maintained?
These lines are maintained to protect the patient’s safety. Medical professionals will regularly perform dressing changes, flush the line with sterile fluid, and clean any ports. This is done to prevent infection and reduce the risk of other complications.
Overall, the benefits of PICC lines easily outnumber the risks. Your doctor or nurse will take many steps to keep potential risks low, so the delivery of your medication, fluids, or nutrients goes smoothly. With a PICC line in place, you can avoid many needle pokes during your medical care.