PICC and Triple Lumen Catheter Difference?

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    I can't seem to wrap my head around what is the difference between a triple lumen PICC and a Triple lumen catheter. Are the just two different names for the same thing? And if not, why is one used over the other? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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  3. 2 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    A PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line is in the arm (or, in rare cases, in the leg) and a triple lumen catheter is a cental line placed in the chest. They are both types of central lines but the PICC line is (as its name suggests) inserted peripherally. PICC lines are placed more easily and it is often a bedside procedure and can be done by the IV nurse. Triple lumens are surgically placed in the chest (though I believe in the adult world or in ICU/code situations, they do sometimes place these at the bedside). In my experience, PICCs are used shorter-term (IV antibiotics, induction chemotherapy) whereas central lines are used longer-term (patients chronically dependent on TPN, long-term chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, etc).

    Triple lumen just refers to the fact that there are three lumens to the line. Either a PICC or a CVL can be single, double, triple lumen. I think I've even seen a quadruple lumen CVL before.
    ceribeth, casi, and SterlingArcher like this.
  5. 0
    Thanks KelRN215. Also (correct me if I'm wrong), the PICCS I have seen seem to have their lumens all end at the tip of the catheter whereas Triple Lumen Catheters seem to have their lumens end at various points of the catheter. Thus one lumen is considered proximal and the other distal, etc. So is this another difference between the two?


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