NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,990 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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peripherally inserted central catheter
(peh-RIH-feh-ruh-lee in-SER-ted SEN-trul KA-theh-ter)
A device used to draw blood and give treatments, including intravenous fluids, drugs, or blood transfusions. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into a vein in the upper arm and guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. A needle is inserted into a port outside the body to draw blood or give fluids. A peripherally inserted central catheter may stay in place for weeks or months and helps avoid the need for repeated needle sticks. Also called PICC.