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Peripheral Venous Catheter (PVC)

A peripheral venous catheter (PVC), peripheral venous line or peripheral venous access catheter is a catheter (small, flexible tube) placed into a peripheral vein for intravenous therapy such as administering medication and fluids. Upon insertion, the line can also be used to draw blood. A peripheral venous catheter is usually placed in a vein on the hand or arm.

Central Venous Catheter (CVC)

A central venous catheter (CVC) is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein, usually below the right collarbone, and guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other drugs. The catheter is also used for taking blood samples. It may stay in place for weeks or months and helps avoid the need for repeated needle sticks.

Non-tunneled catheters are used for short term therapy and in emergent situations.

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)

External device placed in upper arm. A PICC line is a safe, stable, and effective way to deliver IV medications. They can stay in the body for weeks or months, alleviating the need to subject your veins to the numerous needle sticks necessary if the PICC was not there. Additionally, some medications are caustic to the vasculature; PICC lines allow these medications to be delivered to larger vessels that are less likely to be damaged. PICC lines are thus a very versatile choice for patients requiring long-term venous access for conditions such as nutritional deficiencies or IV antibiotics.

Implanted Venous Access Port

An implanted venous access port is a device placed under your skin to give you medicines and treatments. The port is a small container that is normally placed in your upper chest. A port can also be placed in your arm or abdomen (stomach area). The port container is attached to a catheter (tube) that enters a large vein (blood vessel). You may need a port to receive long-term intravenous (IV) medicines or treatments. These include getting chemotherapy medicine to treat cancer, antibiotic (germ killing) medicine, or total parenteral nutrition (liquid food). A port can also be used to take blood samples for testing.

The port is made of plastic or metal with a self-sealing cover over the top. The device may have one or two ports, called a single lumen (tube) or a double lumen port. You may get a double lumen port if you need medicines or treatments that cannot be given together. To give medicines or treatments, a non-coring needle is put through your skin and into the port. Non-coring needles do not cause holes when entering or exiting a port. Medicines and treatments can be given through your port at different times, or constantly. Depending on the treatment you are getting, the non-coring needle can stay in place for up to seven days. Having a port may help you get the medicines and treatments that you need.

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