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What is a PICC Line?


Updated April 27, 2011

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What Does a PICC Line Look Like?
What is a PICC Line?

A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line).

Karen Raymaakers

A peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line, is an IV line that can stay in place for many months or even years.PICC lines are inserted into your arm, and reach all the way to a large vein near to your heart. While it doesn't sound like much fun, it does reduce the need for other treatments. For example, a healthcare provider can give fluid and medications (such as chemotherapy) via the PICC -- and even draw blood samples from the same device -- without having to regularly poke your veins.


Goodman, M. Chemotherapy: Principles of Administration. In Yarbro, C., Frogge, M., Goodman, M., Groenwald, S. eds(2000) Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice 5th ed American Cancer Society, Jones and Bartlett: Sudbury, MA.

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