Over time the PICC (percutaneously inserted central catheter) service has evolved and now could better be known as a vascular access service. The team now places a range of vascular devices including midlines and peripheral cannula. Midline devices are specialist cannulas placed in the upper arm that can remain in place for 6-10 weeks. They don’t require an X-ray for confirmation of the correct site.
The service runs an ‘open door’ policy for patients in the community who have devices placed by the team. Patients can contact the service by phone for advice and make appointments to see a member of staff for any concerns about their lines. We carry out surveillance and troubleshooting of devices for inpatients. The service is integral to the outpatients antimicrobial team (OPAT), diabetic foot clinics, and the nutritional team providing access for parenteral nutrition.
Its scope also includes:
- assessment of patients for right device choice
- placement of devices (PICC, midline, cannula or central line)
- dressing administration
- maintenance of devices
- resolution of problems associated with a device
- surveillance of devices
- open access to all inpatients with devices