Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)

Cornerstone Regional Hospital now offers peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) for patient treatments. A PICC takes the place of a standard IV (intravenous line), which needs to be changed every few days. Since a PICC can stay in place longer, you’ll likely have fewer needle sticks during treatment. PICCs also cause less damage to the small veins where an IV would normally be inserted. Ask your physician if a PICC is right for you.

Getting a PICC

A short procedure is performed in your hospital room or elsewhere in the hospital. Your healthcare team will tell you what to expect. In general, a PICC placement includes the following:

  • You’ll be covered fully with a large sterile sheet except the spot where the PICC will be placed, to reduce risk of infection.
  • An ultrasound may be used to find the best vein to use.
  • The area is numbed with local anesthetic to decrease discomfort during PICC placement.
  • The catheter is gently passed into the vein and moved along until the tip is in the vena cava, close to the heart.
  • The other end of the catheter sticks out a few inches from your skin and may be loosely attached with stitched or a securement device.
  • The catheter will be flushed with saline solution to clear it.
  • An X-ray is performed to confirm the catheter’s position and identify any problems.

Risks and Complications

As with any procedure, getting a PICC has certain risks, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding problems
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Injury to the vein or lymph ducts near the vein
  • Inflammation of the vein
  • Clots or air bubbles in the bloodstream
  • Clots in the vein that may travel to the lung (pulmonary embolism)
  • Nerve injury
  • Accidental insertion into an artery instead of a vein
  • Catheter not positioned correctly

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC.

Schedule an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 956-618-4444.