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PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter

A PICC line is placed to provide repeated access to your veins in order to give medications, fluids or blood products. These types of lines are typically used for patients undergoing treatment for cancer or other serious illnesses for which access to a patient’s veins is needed for several weeks, months, years or longer. Under the guidance of X-ray imaging, the practitioner feeds a long thin tube – called a catheter – from a vein in the arm into the large vein in the heart (the super vena cava) to place the PICC line. An external site remains to provide access during the patient’s ongoing treatment.

What are the benefits of using a PICC?

  • A PICC is more comfortable compared with the many “needle sticks” that would have been needed for giving medications and drawing blood. The goal is to spare your veins from these frequent “needle sticks.”
  • A PICC can also spare your veins and blood vessels from the irritating effects of IV medications.
  • A PICC can be used in the hospital setting, nursing facility, or at home and can stay in place for weeks, months, or longer if needed.
  • A PICC can be used for many types of IV treatments.
  • A PICC can be used to obtain blood testing.
  • A PICC can be used for Chemotherapy.
  • A PICC can be used for calories you cannot get by eating.