Invasive Long-Term IV Access Line

An invasive long-term IV access line is beneficial for patients requiring multiple or frequent access to the veins. Such patients include those undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis, requiring prolonged intravenous antibiotic treatment, frequent parenteral nutrition, and drawing repeated blood samples. The types of invasive long-term IV access lines include Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) lines, tunneled venous catheters, central line or Hickman catheters, chemoport, and central venous catheters.

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  • Chemoport: Chemoport is an implantable reservoir device placed under the skin and attached to the vein. Through chemoport, the doctors have easy access to the patient’s veins. The device is primarily used to deliver chemotherapy drugs into the blood. However, the contrast agent may also be delivered for CT and PET scans in some cases. The types of chemoport include intra-peritoneal port, implantable venous access point, tunneled central venous catheter, and PICC.
  • Hickman Line: Hickman line is a long, thin tube placed in the chest and attached to the vein. It is usually made of silicone. The Hickman line is placed to deliver various substances, such as antibiotics, chemotherapeutic drugs, and nutrition, directly into the bloodstream. It may also be used for drawing a blood sample for testing. The patients may have in-patient or outpatient procedures for placing the Hickman line under the effect of sedatives.
  • Permacath Line:Permacath line is inserted into the neck vein (jugular vein) for performing short-term dialysis. It is also used when patients are waiting for a permanent dialysis fistula. These are tunneled dialysis catheters, which have the advantage of lower infection rates compared to non-tunneled catheters.
  • PICC Line: It is a long, thin tube inserted into the arm vein and guided to the larger veins present near the heart. A PICC line may also be placed in the legs in rare cases. The PICC line allows the doctor to access the large veins near the heart. In addition, it allows the delivery of nutrition and medications to the patients. The advantages of the PICC line included avoiding multiple needle pricks and preventing the risk of irritation due to needling the small vessels.