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HealthInfo Canterbury

Intravenous access devices

Some medicines work best if they are put directly into your bloodstream, through a vein. These sorts of medicines are called intravenous medicines.

If people regularly need to have intravenous medicines, they can have devices put in that make it easier for them. Then, rather than having to have needles in their arms all the time, people can get medicines injected into these devices. These devices include Hickman lines, PICC lines and portacaths.

Sometimes people have one of these inserted because they have to have regular blood tests.

When you have one of these devices left in your vein there is a risk it could become infected. So it's very important you keep it clean, and look after it and use it properly.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Haematology, Canterbury DHB. Updated June 2015.

Page reference: 53790

Review key: HIIAD-53790