Hickman catheter

A flexible plastic tube, also known as a skin-tunnelled catheter, that is passed through the chest and inserted into the subclavian vein, which leads to the heart. It is often used in people who have leukaemia or other cancers and need regular chemotherapy and blood tests. The catheter allows drugs to be injected directly into the bloodstream and blood samples to be obtained easily. The catheter is inserted, under local anaesthesia. It can remain in position for months; the external end is plugged when not in use.


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