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What is a PICC Line ?

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

A PICC line is a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter. PICC means Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters.

It is used to give you chemotherapy and other medicines. A doctor or nurse puts it into a vein above the bend of your elbow. It can stay in place until your treatment is over.

You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area before the PICC line is put in. Your doctor or nurse will gently thread the line along the vein in your arm until it’s in a large vein in your chest. You will have an x-ray to check it’s in the correct position.

The PICC line is held in place by a dressing, which is usually changed every week. The cap at the end of the line is replaced each week to reduce the risk of infection. The line is flushed regularly to prevent it becoming blocked.

Bold Beanies PICC Line Covers can give you peace of mind against any catching the tube on clothing or in bed. Super soft, stretchy and breathable cotton material, our PICC Line Sleeves also come in beautiful Liberty prints and practical plains which can also match our cancer treatment hair loss hats.

Contact your hospital doctor or nurse if you have any swelling, pain or leaking fluid around the PICC line. Also tell them if you don’t feel well.

When you no longer need the PICC line, it will be taken out.

A PICC line can be used to give you treatments such as Chemotherapy, Blood transfusions, Antibiotics, Intravenous Fluids or Liquid Food if you're not able to eat. 

It can also be used to take samples of your blood for testing.

If you have a PICC line, you won't need to have needles put in every time you have treatment. This can be helpful if doctors and nurses find it difficult to get needles into your veins. It’s also helpful if you don't like needles.

You can go home with the PICC line in. It can be left in for weeks or months.

To find out any further information, the Macmillan website is a very good resource for information. Please see more info about how they insert a PICC Line here:

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