Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Commonly Used Short-Term

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Among patients with short-term peripherally inserted central catheter, about 1 in 10 has a complication
Among patients with short-term peripherally inserted central catheter, about 1 in 10 has a complication

(HealthDay News) -- About 25% of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) placed have a dwell time of 5 days or less, and almost 10% of patients with a short-term PICC experience a complication, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

David Paje, MD, MPH, from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues collected data from medical records of adults who received PICCs during hospitalization. Patients were followed until PICC removal, death, or 70 days after insertion. The authors examined factors that were associated with short-term PICCs, with a dwell time of less than or equal to 5 days.

The researchers found that 25.3% of the 15,397 PICCs placed had a dwell time of less than or equal to 5 days; most of these (95.5%) were removed during hospitalization. Variables associated with short-term PICCs vs those placed for more than 5 days included difficult venous access, multilumen devices, and teaching hospitals (odds ratios, 1.54, 1.53, and 1.25, respectively). Overall, 9.6% of those with short-term PICCs experienced a complication, including 2.5% and 0.4% experiencing venous thromboembolism and central line-associated bloodstream infection events, respectively. Catheter occlusion and tip migration were the most common minor complications (4 and 2.2%, respectively).

"As PICC placement, even for brief periods, is associated with complications, efforts targeted at factors underlying such use appear necessary," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the publishing industry and provided expert witness testimony; several authors disclosed ties to the health insurance industry.

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