A vascular access device is used to provide intravenous (IV) medicines into the blood vessels of a patient, and to draw blood samples. When access to the blood vessels is needed for a longer period of time, or the medicines that are needed might damage the smaller vessels of the hand or wrist, a special catheter called a central venous catheter may be used. Central venous catheters can be inserted into a vein in the upper arm, leg, neck or chest, and are threaded through the veins until the opening of the catheter is in one of the large veins near the patient’s heart. These types of catheters can be used easily and repeatedly over a long period of time, without repeated needle-sticks.
Ultrasound systems provide nurses and doctors with the ability to visualize anatomy and track the progress of Peripheral Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs), Central Venous Catheters (CVCs), or Peripheral Intravenous Line (PIVCs) as they are placed. Ultrasound assisted vascular access provides a safe and efficient means of obtaining vascular access.