peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC)
A long catheter that extends from an arm or leg vein into the largest vein (superior vena cava or inferior vena cava) near the heart and typically provides central IV access for several weeks. Unlike a standard intravenous catheter (IV) which is for short term use, a PICC is more durable and does not easily become blocked or infected. It may remain in place for several months so that blood can be repeatedly drawn or medication and nutrients can be routinely injected into the patient’s bloodstream.