We offer this glossary of common terms for parent’s to help resolve some of the confusing medical language.
Central Venous Catheter
Central Venous Line
Central venous access catheter
In medicine, a central venous catheter (“central line”, “CVC”, “central venous line” or “central venous access catheter”) is a catheter placed into a large vein in the neck, chest or groin. The CVC is used to administer medications or fluids, including TPN or obtain blood.
Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter
A peripherally inserted central catheter aka. PICC is a central venous catheter inserted into a vein in the arm rather than a vein in the neck or chest.
A tunneled catheter is a central venous catheter that is surgically inserted into a vein in the neck or chest and passed under the skin. The end of the line is brought through the skin through which medicine can be given.
Hickman Catheter: Brand name for a tunneled catheter.
Broviac Catheter: Brand name for a tunneled catheter.
The term portacath or port in medicine are a form of a central venous access device. A port consists of a reservoir compartment that has a silicon bubble for needle insertion, with an attached plastic tube. The device is surgically implanted under the skin in the upper chest and appears as a bump under the skin. The term totally implantable venous access system (TIVAS) is also used interchangeably with ports.
Brand names for ports include: Port-A-Cath, Microport, Bardport, PowerPort, Passport, Infuse-a-Port, Medi-Port, and Lifesite.
This type of central venous catheter is left entirely under the skin. Medicines are injected through the skin into the catheter. Some implanted ports contain a small reservoir that can be refilled in the same way. After being filled, the reservoir slowly releases the medicine into the bloodstream. An implanted port is less obvious than a tunneled catheter and requires little daily care.