Friday, October 8, 2010

Learning about PICC's....

The idea of a PICC line really scared me when they decided to put one in Broderyck's right arm for long term IV's. It also really scared me when they told me that I would be the one administering the antibiotics after we go home. But after the nurses have given me paperwork and let me practice  under their supervision. We will also be assigned a home health program to come and do dressing changes and provide the antibiotics, saline flushes and heparin flushes. It will stay in for at least 6 weeks.

Getting ready to put in the PICC

After the PICC was put in, under an awesome dinosaur wrap
A PICC line is, by definition and per its acronym, a peripherally inserted central catheter. It is long, slender, small, flexible tube that is inserted into a peripheral vein, typically in the upper arm, and advanced until the catheter tip terminates in a large vein in the chest near the heart to obtain intravenous access. It is similar to other central lines as it terminates into a large vessel near the heart. However, unlike other central lines, its point of entry is from the periphery of the body � the extremities. And typically the upper arm is the area of choice.
A PICC line provides the best of both worlds concerning venous access. Similar to a standard IV, it is inserted in the arm, and usually in the upper arm under the benefits of ultrasound visualization. Also, PICCs differ from peripheral IV access but similar to central lines in that a PICCs termination point is centrally located in the body allowing for treatment that could not be obtained from standard periphery IV access. In addition, PICC insertions are less invasive, have decreased complication risk associated with them, and remain for a much longer duration than other central or periphery access devices.
Using ultrasound technology to visualize a deep, large vessel in the upper arm, the PICC catheter is inserted by a specially trained and certified PICC nurse specialist. Post insertion at the bedside, a chest x-ray is obtained to confirm ideal placement. The entire procedure is done in the patient�s room decreasing discomfort, transportation, and loss of nursing care.

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