For Parents - Pediatric Vascular Access

For Parents - ​Pediatric Vascular Access

If you're a parent, one of the most traumatic you can go through is to have a child hospitalized. What parents need to know about venous access devices.

Venous access devices are often referred to as venous access lines or catheters because they allow frequent access to the veins without the needle sticks.

There are many different types of venous access lines. Listed below are the most common types with a brief description to help you better understand each of them.

Peripheral IV (Intravenous)

What is a peripheral IV? (PIV)

A peripheral IV is a catheter (a very thin, flexible tube) that is placed into a small vein usually in the hand, arm, foot or leg. The tube is put into the vein with a small needle, which is removed while the small flexible tube stays in place in the vein. This is done to give your child fluids or medicines directly into the bloodstream. The PIV is secured with tape or a type of bandage.

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)

What is a PICC?

A PICC is a special type of IV line. It is a long, very thin, flexible tube that is placed in a large vein, usually in the arm, above the bend of the elbow. The end of this tube is near the heart in one of the body’s large veins. This is used to give your child fluids or medicines. Sometimes it is also used for blood samples. Because the tube is soft and flexible, it can usually last several weeks to months, which means your child has less needle pokes and less pain.

Central Venous Line (CVL)

What is a CVL?

A central venous line is a special type of IV line that lies near the heart in one of the body’s large veins. It is used to give fluids and medicines, blood products and nutrition.

Implanted Port

What is an implanted port?

An implanted port is a device under the skin, usually on the upper chest, almost invisible, because it appears as a bump on your skin. The port makes it easier to give fluids and medicines and take blood samples.

The implanted port has 2 parts: The catheter (tube) and the reservoir (port). The tube is long and flexible; it is placed into a large vein leading to the heart. The reservoir (injection port) is the part that is accessed (a needle is placed into it) to give fluids, medicines, and other treatments. The needle is removed after the medicine is given. Some implanted ports have two reservoirs (ports) so two medicines can be given at the same time.

Types of Pediatric Vascular Access:

Peripheral intravenous access (PIV) is a short catheter (a small flexible tube) that is placed in a vein to give medicine or fluids. It is put into the vein by a needle, which is removed while the small flexible tube stays in place in the vein. The small tube is usually placed in the hand, arm, or foot and in small babies sometimes in the scalp.

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)

What is a PICC?

A PICC is a special type of IV line used to give fluids and medicines. The line is placed in a large vein, usually in the arm, above the bend of the elbow. The end of the line ends in a large vein near the heart.

Tunneled Central Venous Catheter

What is a tunneled central venous catheter?