How to Improve Your PICC Line Care

PICC lines are simpler to insert and maintain than ever before. It is up to everyone who provided care to patients with PICC lines to be up to date with the latest techniques and equipment.

Every year approximately 7 to 8 million patients in the US receive some type of central venous line. An   aging population with chronic co-morbidities and complex medical intervention means that number is going to rise.

Today ‘s PICC ‘s, many times inserted by specially trained nurses are constantly improving making them safer and easier to use than before thanks to improvements in equipment and technique. Nevertheless, good nursing management of the line will prevent infection, occlusion and other complications.

PICC lines can support any kind of infusion including chemotherapy, TPN, prolonged antibiotic therapy and the power PICC can withstand 300 psi more than enough for power injectors such as contrast dye.

PICC lines can be successfully placed about 95% of the time thanks to portable ultrasound and the microintroducer. The ultrasound allows the clinician to visualize the basilic, cephalic or median vein above the antecubital in the upper arm. Upper arm insertions have a lower rate of thrombosis and catheter migration than antecubital insertions. The microintroducer allows the clinician to access the vein using a smaller gauge (21 or 22) needle.