To medical professionals, they are called “peripherally inserted central catheter lines” and “Sapiens TCS.”
To Mary Law of Surprise, they are “a miracle.”
This summer, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center began using an X-ray free device that allows doctors to determine better placement of peripherally inserted central catheter lines, or PICC lines.
PICC lines are used for administering some antibiotic therapies, nutrition regimens or certain types of chemotherapy. The lines, the tip of which reaches from the arm into the heart, requires accurate placement and, at most hospitals, an X-ray has been used to ensure accuracy.
That’s no longer the case at Banner Del E. Webb where the Sapiens TCS is now used to accurately place the PICC lines.
“It’s much safer for the patient, and there’s less chance for errors,” said Brian Shelly, respiratory therapy manager at Del Webb. “This is technology that didn’t exist last year and now makes things easier.”
The new device uses the patient’s electrical cardiac activity and allows clinicians to view the insertion in real time and to know exactly where the tip of the line is. In addition, by avoiding the need for an X-ray, radiation exposure is reduced.
“I found this to be excellent and much better than having to do an X-ray,” Law said. “PICC lines have been a miracle for me and now to have this technology with it is perfect.”
Law said she hopes other hospitals have the opportunity to get the device.
“Not having to use X-rays to determine the PICC lines is a thousand times better,” she said. “I’m so glad that they have a machine like this that will help so many people.”
Del Webb staff inserts 2,000 PICC lines a year.
“By using this unit, it allows my team to provide state-of-the-art technology, quickly and effectively and with a high quality of care to our patients,” Shelly said.