What is a PICC line?
A PICC line is a catheter which is peripherally inserted into a vein, normally located in the upper arm. The catheter is then advanced to the largest vein in the body, adjacent to the heart.
How is a PICC line inserted?
It is inserted under imaging guidance: usually a combination of ultrasound and x-ray. An injection of x-ray dye is normally used to opacify the veins of the upper limb and to confirm the position of the catheter tip. Local anaesthetic is used to numb the skin.
How is the PICC line used?
Medications may be directly administered into the end of the line, utilising careful sterile technique. These may include antibiotics or chemotherapy.