Cancer and chemotherapy – Will you need a PICC line?

diagram of how a picc works

Why should I have a PICC line?

A PICC line can be used to give you treatments such as:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Blood transfusions
  • Antibiotics
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Liquid food if you’re not able to eat

Some drugs such as chemotherapy can cause discomfort or pain to the vein. A PICC line can reduce irritation in the veins by delivering the chemotherapy straight into a big vein and to make sure that the chemotherapy is given safely. It also allows for the medications, fluids and antibiotics to be given directly to the bloodstream. It can be used for blood taking which reduces the need for taking blood directly from the arm.

A PICC is ideal for people with small veins or who are scared of needles. It can also be used as a temporary central line, especially for people who need to start intensive treatment immediately or need a different type of line but are unable to have one because they are on blood thinning medication or are unable to lie flat.

How is the PICC line put in?

 

 

One Reply to “Cancer and chemotherapy – Will you need a PICC line?”

  1. They had so much trouble trying to get the chemotherapy drugs in and I ended up with 3 cannulas in one hand. Not only was this painful but it made everyday life very difficult. In the end they said they would have to put a PICC line in. After 2 attempts they got it in and the relief was instant. It meant I could have my chemotherapy without any problems and it was completely painless. I could put an arm cover over it and shower and life became a lot easier.

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