So You're About to Get a PICC Line...
What is a PICC Line?
PICC Line stands Peripherally inserted central catheter. A PICC is a special thin tube that goes into a vein and gives you medicine. It might also be called a central line. A PICC line acts much like an IV but it is placed higher on your arm and goes into a larger vein close to your heart.
Why is a PICC Line important?
The PICC Line will allow the doctors to give you stronger medicine over a longer period of time.
What happens during a PICC Line placement?
• Kids under age 10 usually get a special medicine to make them go to sleep during a PICC Line so that they don’t remember or feel anything.
• Older kids will be awake during their PICC Line placement.
• The Nurse from a special team called the PICC team will come in with a cart full of the equipment he/she will need to do the PICC.
• Everyone will have to wear a mask and the nurse will also wear a gown and gloves to keep everything clean.
• First the nurse will look at your veins by using an ultra sound machine. He/She will squeeze a gel onto your arm and use a wand to see your veins on the screen. The gel will feel cold and wet but the ultrasound will not hurt.
• Once the nurse finds a good vein, he/she will clean off the gel.
• Next, the nurse will open all of his/her equipment...This is a lot of packages.
• Then, the nurse will put a y shaped device on your chest called a sherlock, this device allows the nurse to see what he/she is doing during the procedure. It does not hurt.
• Then, the nurse will put a big blue drape over your body to keep everything clean. The drape will not cover your face.
• Next, the nurse will sterilize your arm with a wet sponge.
• Once everything is sterile, you will feel 2 or 3 fast, hard pinches. The first pinch is when the nurse starts your IV. The other pinches are numbing medicine, these pinches will sting a little but it will only last a couple seconds.
• Then, the nurse will continue to place your PICC Line, but you will not feel anything after the numbing medicine.
• Once the PICC Line is placed the nurse will put a bandage over the area.
What is your job during a PICC Line placement?
Your job is to be still during your PICC Line placement.
It is also very important to care for your PICC Line. You can not touch the bandages or get them wet. Your nurse will show you hoe to bathe without getting the PICC Line wet.
What helps during a PICC Line placement?
•Distraction, looking at or doing something else