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PICC line problems?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
When my DD was in NICU she got an ifection thru her PICC line and head nurse even admitted this was how infection was introduced. I just wondered how long your babes had their PICC lines and did you have any complications? I don't remember my daughter's being change until after the infection (then they went to regular iv's, poor baby, 4-5 in a day!) but I wondered how often should they bee changed?
post #2 of 6
A PICC line should, in theory, last 3 months unless it fails for some reason; i.e., blockage or vein collapse. The reason the infection is introduced through the PICC line is because it is an open wound. An IV is equally as infectious as a PICC line. An ET tube is the same. Any time a foreign body is introduced into the body it creates an area that can host germs.

My son had a PICC line for about 7 weeks and it never did need to be replaced. He remained infection free after that save for a UTI at the end of his hospital stay and the IV he needed during his 2 surgeries.

I'm sorry your daughter had to endure so may IVs! How frustrating for you. My son liked to pull his out or bend them so he ended up with a couple of them in his head.
post #3 of 6
I think DD's PICC was placed for about 3 weeks, but she got a reoccuring blood infection from it too. Our doctors were excellent and said that this was the most likely cause of her infection.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies. As you can tell I am still not "over" her NICU experience even though she is 2 years old now. I guess her PICC line was in about 5 or 6 weeks. She was there for just over 7 weeks and I think the infection occurred around 5 weeks. Yeah, aren't those iVs horrible? They had so many problems getting them in her and even the head nurse couldn't do it at one point. They went from right hand to left, then left foot to right and back to hand all within 24 hours! But never the head- your poor little guy Sarah!
post #5 of 6
DS had one for about two weeks - never got infected, but it was necessary because they couldn't get his arms and the ones in his head were failing constantly (they started with one little shaved spot and by the time he got the PICC line, he was halfway bald). I remember telling the nurse that she was an awesome nurse, but a terrible barber (one of the the few moments of levity).

While DS's didn't get infected, he did have a really bad reaction to one of the bandages and they had to use a different type: I think we were pretty lucky that he didn't need it for long as they were worried about the PICC line pulling out because of the different bandage (putting it in was a nightmare - they said it might take 15 minutes to max an hour: they finally got it in after 2 hours of trying). The odd thing is he still has a pretty large and visible scar on this arm - it doesn't seem to affect him in any way, but I hate to look at it...
post #6 of 6
That is unfortunately one of the downfalls of IVs and PICC lines is they're a way for bacteria to creep in. We had several positive blood cultures but the bacteria was usually from the PICC line, not actually in dd2's body so once the PICC lines was removed the bacteria was gone but it can cause infections as well.

My kiddos both had PICC lines for close to 3wks (I was told that they can stay in for a couple of months though) but IV's no longer than 3-5 days, if they stayed good that long.
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