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When checking my blog stats I noticed that some searches for the CVC (central venous catheter) found my site. So I thought I would include a post with a little information about the CVC.
Nick’s first central venous catheter was a PICC or peripherally inserted central catheter. I see these on a daily basis in my work at the hospital. They are inserted in a big vein either in the leg or upper arm, or the “periphery”.
If the tube is put into the leg it’s usually for a short day visit to the hospital for a procedure requiring access or for the delivery of fluids. The groin is an awkward place to have a big bore catheter; it doesn’t make moving around very easy.
The ones I see the most are in the upper arm. Both can be inserted in the patient’s room and with a local anesthetic (patient is awake). An x ray is taken to ensure proper placement before the PICC line is put to use.
The CVC inserted through the chest wall at the time of Nicholas’ treatment required operating room time and a general anesthetic but it could remain in place for months. What usually gets these removed is 1) no more need for it (Yippee!) or 2) it gets infected and starts to grow something funky. Nicholas had his replaced a few times.
Have you had any experience with one of these?