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Thread: pic line?

  1. #1
    Member Cory's Avatar
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    pic line?

    I have to get a pic line put in tomorrow morning for IV antibiotics. I've had one before but Im still nervous I hate having it go up in my chest near my heart or wherever it goes. Whats the worst thing that could happen, puncture a lung or something, do they ever have problems with these things or is it so routine and lots of people get them that its not a big deal?

  2. #2
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    I have had several of these put in. There is always a chance of problems, but the way they do it now in radiology and monitor the procedure; I feel they are much safer than they ever have been. I have had four done. Getting new IV's put in every few days would be much worse!

    The last hospital I had the line put in, had done 15 that day alone, pretty routine procedure.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    The line is so small and flexible it couldn't puncture something if it wanted to. They xray it after placement to verify its position. The worst that can happen is if you bleed a little at the entry site or if it gets infected. My wife and I did all my procedures and we were very strict about cleanliness. Then we went to the hospital and cringed as the nurses were about 30% as careful as we were. Anyway, I wouldn't worry.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    There is a small chance that you could puncture the vein when it is being placed, but this is extremely rare when placed by a competent person (nurse or physician). A PICC line can be threaded part way up your arm or all the way into the large veins in your chest. The more caustic the drug you will get through the PICC line, the larger the vessel that should be used.

    Infection is the biggest risk. This can occur at either the catheter tip inside your vein, or at the site where it goes through your ski in your arm. Strict sterile technique (sterile gloves, mask, etc.) is needed for dressing changes, and strict technique for giving anything through it. Never use any syringe to flush, etc. smaller than a 10cc. regardless of the amount of solution. Smaller syringes deliver greater psi and have been known to "blow off" the tip of these catheters inside your body, creating a floating foreign body embolism.

    They can also be dislodged. The catheter should be well secured, and you should measure the amount outside the body daily. Report any changes in this (either shorter or longer)to your physician. This often occurs when pushing a wheelchair, so be extra careful when transferring, etc. We always use extra tape and Surgiflex (Netflex, etc.) to keep the tubing from getting caught in spokes, etc.

    Most people have no problems as long as these precautions are followed.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
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    Last few trips for me have resulted in a center line (in my neck) whats the difference between this and a PICC line?

  6. #6
    It sounds like you had a jugular vein line. This must be placed by a physician. As you state, it is a central line. A PICC is a periperhally inserted (ie, in your arm) central line which is threaded up the vein in your arm to a larger vein. They are similar, but the PICC is much easier to insert (and often done by specially trained nurses). Generally a PICC can be left in longer than a jugular line, and is more comfortable for the patient. Ask about one if you need an IV line for longer than a week in the future.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
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    The reason they go in my neck is because they can't get it in my arms anymore. Veins are just shot, no pun intended.

  8. #8
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    Just a funny story about picc lines. I've had several (Pic Lines). Went home with the 1st one and had to make an appointment with my surgeon to have it removed. He pretty much just pulled it out with rubber gloves on. A cpouple weeks later I got an EOB form from Blue Cross B.S. showing they paid him $500.00 for office surgery to remove it. I had several afterwards that were removed by nurses upon leaving the hospital. I had to go home with the last one though cuz they thought I might need it again. After a couple weeks it got caught on something when transferring and jerked it out. I called my new Dr. who said "Good, it was time anyway". Now I know why I saw #1 Drs'wife in her new Lincoln Navigator 4x4. Wouldn't want the missus to get stuck going to the tanning booth in these nasty winters.WR

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