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Thread: Picc line

  1. #1
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    Picc line

    This might sound dumb but what exactly is a picc line? Is it just
    an IV of some sort that doesn't have to be replaced every couple
    days? My son has only had 1 hospitalization, but he was mainly
    being treated for RSV and rotovirus so just had reg IV.  He
    came very close to having to be admitted about a week ago for
    a cough that would not go away. Doc said if he wasn't doing better
    in a few days, he would have to be admitted.  But
    he started heading in the right direction after adding
    prednisone and albuterol to the antibiotic he was on. Anyway, would
    they do a course of antibiotics with a picc line? It sounds kind of
    scary by reading about it in other posts. What keeps a toddler from
    ripping it out? How do they put it in? Sorry so many questions, but
    the near miss with the hospital got me thinking. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif" border="0"><br>
    P.S. How long do these visits usually last?&nbsp;

  2. #2
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    Picc line

    I cant answer the question about how the toddler would not rip it out but they tape them up pretty good and just probably have to watch him pretty close. on adults they normally start on ur upper arm and find a good vein that goes to the heart. And then they run a small line in his vein to his heart. I cant explain how they put them in but I can tell u if ur son does not pull on it or anything they will last for atleast 3 weeks maybe more I dont know I just know I have had one in for 3 weeks and had no problems. I hope some one can help u more but that gives u an idea..


    Dustin
    24 male with CFRD
    Missouri

  3. #3
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    Picc line

    I know for me (as an adult) they give me some lidocain in the area they are going to stick me for the IV. They have to put a pretty big needle in at first because the vein has to stay supported enough for them to feed the line through. I have heard of a few of the peds/kids(I am meaning below 6-7) in the area being sedated for the procedure, but I do not know if that is standard now. I was never sedated when I had them as a pediatric patient - just some emla(sp?) cream, but I was also in my teens.

    As for how the secure them. They have an adhesive strip at the local hospital that they can use. It adheres to the skin near the entry site and then they anchor the line to it with a clamp type doo-dad. For myself the usually put one or two stitches to hold it in place because I am allergic to the adhesive on the anchor strip. When I as in peds they usually secured it with a steri strip and some other tape then put tegaderm on top of that. Once they do that they cover the site with Tegaderm or some other adhesive dressing - probably the same thing they use to cover the regular IVs.

    They can sometimes be a pain to get put in, but they are great for antibiotics. Instead of having to get a line change every day or every other you get one stick(hopefully) and they can take blood from the line as well, so it saves you from having to be stuck unneccesarily unless it is for something like a drug level, which sometimes they can not take through the PICC line.

    Lindsey

  4. #4
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    Picc line

    My first PICC line was placed in 2000. Since then I have had 5 & the technique has changed. My first one was done in my room by the IV team. The room looked like an OR by the time they were done draping everything etc. The used the numbing cream & had to try twice because they ran into a "kink" in my vein. This one was secured solely with tape. All the others after that were done in the Radiology department where they used shots of novacaine instead of the cream. The used an ultrasound to locate the best vein & to guide the tubing thru the vein to minimize problems. The stiched the PICC line into place & quite frankly the stiching hurt like hell. The last time the doctor who inserted the PICC gave me an option of using a stitch or this little plastic clamp that stuck to my arm. I chose the clamp & it was fine. I have had my PICC lines for up to 8 weeks. My doctor refused to let me keep it longer than that for risk of problems. I use these little pieces of "cheese cloth/gauze" to stretch over the area of the dressing & when the picc line is not hooked up to the meds....all the tubing is stuck under this gauze. I dont think that would be secure enough for a little one, but I am sure they have alternatives for children. I was scared to death the first time I had a PICC put in. I guess mainly because of the unknown, but its far better than going thru tons of blown veins & iv's. Thats all I have to say about that!

  5. #5
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    Picc line

    PICC = peripherally inserted cardiac catheter.

    My son, who is turned 3 in April , had his 1st at 15 months. I was inserted with him under sedation and taped/covered while in place. He did not fuss with it after the novelty wore off after a day or so.

    He goes in tomorrow for his 2nd and it will also be placed with him under sedation.

    The PICC is far more desirable than a regular IV because it's a tiny flexible hose instead of a needle sitting in his arm/hand and it gets the medicines into a larger vein closer to the heart which reduces the wear/tear on the veins from the medicines.

    Bathing is a bit of a hassle since the line needs to stay dry, but that's about it.

  6. #6
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    Picc line

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Picc line

    Yeah, I just had my 6th PICC line and I honestly love them. I have
    small veins that role and IV meds have always been hard on my
    veins. PICC lines can stay in for up to a month I think , but I've
    never had one in for longer than 3 weeks. When I first had a picc
    they used stitches to keep it in but every picc nurse I've seen
    lately thinks that's crazy. Now they just have adhesive with a part
    where the line snaps in and then they bandage over it. Personally I
    think they're great, and you can still do just about anything with
    them in. I even played softball and hockey with them in and never
    had a problem. Good luck with IVs, hope everything goes ok.

  8. #8
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