PICC Line safety and benefits


PICC line placement in El Paso or the peripherally inserted central catheter, also known as a central percutaneous catheter which gives direct access to the bloodstream for up to six months at a single time. It helps to inject intravenous fluids like antibiotics and draw blood for transfusions.

The catheter is inserted through the upper arm to the central vein near the heart. This method is more reliable than standard IV as in this line, the patient doesn’t have to bear the pain again and again, and a larger volume of medications can be given.

How is the PICC Line used in medicine?

It is used for various purposes for patients who have to receive medications for a prolonged time. Different uses include:

  • Antibiotics and antifungals: Bacterial infections require IV medications for weeks or more.
  • Cancer treatments: Drugs for chemotherapy can be injected in diluted form into the bloodstream faster than standard IV.
  • Heart medications: Drugs against congestive heart failure are given by the PICC line.
  • Frequent blood draws: It is beneficial when patients can’t bear the pain during regular blood draws.

Does the PICC line involve any risks?

It may include certain complications which can be severe. The PICC line must be removed and properly adjusted.

Different complications include:

  • Infection: At the insertion site, the infection can develop, which can be severe in most cases.
  • Blood clots: Clots are formed at the tip of the line; moreover, if clots break, they travel all the way long from the heart to lungs causing pulmonary embolism. If clots develop around the site, they can cause vein inflammation.
  • Malfunction: These lines can get clogged. Medicines are provided to clear them but may lead to line removal.
  • Irritation of the heart can cause cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) if it is too close to the core. Moreover, rubbing a line against the heart causes damage to muscles and valves.

What Safety is provided for the PICC line?

The lines must be maintained regularly by sterile dressings and flush with fluid (pure). Infections must be prevented by cleaning the site, bandaging position, and washing hands with sterile liquids.

The doctors guide the patients on which activities to avoid, like weight lifting and athletics.

The site must be covered with a wrap or a bandage. The site should also not get wet, so bathing must be avoided.

The PICC line is better and more durable than IV injections in many treatments. As mentioned above, it involves risk factors, but proper care, safety, and following doctor’s advice will benefit patients.