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Here Comes A Stick!

Aug 17, 2007
Watch out for that little stick when you go to the hospital. It may be connected to an intravenous line.

There are several types on intravenous lines used in hospitals. To determine the proper line to use depends on the length of time it must stay in and the drugs to be given by that line.

The materials used to make intravenous lines are usually non irritable. This is done to protect the patients vein for further use if needed. There are three different intravenous lines that can be used.

Peripheral Lines is better known as the "butterfly". It is recommended for children. Other reasons to use this line may be to collect needed blood samples. Placing this intravenous line may be placed in the hand or lower arm of the patient. Peripheral lines usually last only a few days before having to be changed. Wow! Another stick. This is why peripheral lines are seldom used for antibiotics.

Mid Lines can stay in place for a period of 2-4 days. They are usually placed in the forearm. This line has a catheter that is placed inside of your elbow bend. The veins in this area are larger than your peripheral veins. All that is visible outside of the arm is a small butterfly with the tubing and value for administering your medicines, fluid , or blood. Patients stand a lesser chance of irritation when given antibiotics through mid lines.

Central Lines are often referred as PICC line. This line is placed in the arm and looped around the shoulder area where it comes to rest on the patient's upper chest. There are times when the PICC line must placed in either the arm , neck, or upper portion of the patient's leg. This line can stay in place for six weeks or more. The port of this line is stitched down outside of venous site. Because of the mid line being placed near the heart , every method of clean hygiene must be taken to prevent infections in the bloodstream. If this was to occur it would be extremely serious for the patient.

No one likes to have an IV line started when they are sick. They can be very uncomfortable to the patient. There are ways to lessen the pain of the stick. A numbing medicine can be applied either by needle or by cream. Which would you prefer? If they have the same relieve ,choose the cream. Avoid that second stick if you can. You would prefer not to be used as a pin cushion.
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