Making Care Comfortable and Convenient

Perry Memorial Hospital offers a wide variety of services through the Ambulatory Care Department.  One of the services we offer is PICC line insertion.

What is a PICC line?female nurses standing with PICC machine

PICC stands for "Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter."  It is inserted into a patient's arm, leg, or neck for those patients requiring continuous, long-term antibiotic therapy, nutrition, or blood draws.  For patients who would otherwise need a new needle inserted each day for treatment or testing, the PICC line offers a fast, convenient, and more comfortable solution. 

How is a PICC line inserted?

At Perry, our specially trained and skilled nurses use an ultrasound to locate the best place for the PICC line and guide the insertion.  A local anesthetic is used to numb the area prior to insertion.  The PICC device is a soft, thin, long tube inserted into a large vein.  It is designed for minimal discomfort and can be completed in an outpatient setting.  Once installed, PICC line dressings need to be changed once a week.  If it is not being used regularly, the PICC line needs to be flushed once a day.

How do you quality for a PICC line?

PICC lines require a referral from your physician.  They are intended for patients who will need access to a vein daily for multiple months.  A PICC line is designed to stay inserted for a maximum of 12 months, but the average length of time needed is six months. 

If you believe your treatment qualifies you for a PICC line insertion, you should consult with your physician to see if a referral to Perry Memorial's Ambulatory Care unit is appropriate for you.