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PIC Line Question


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Unfortunately, the infection in my chest is still hanging in there despite my taking loads of antibiotics. The dr. called last night and said he's thinking of putting in a PIC line for antibiotics to knock it out. I've never had a PIC line. He mentioned I might have to do it in-patient? I so don't want to do this. Any information on PIC lines would be appreciated. I'm hangin' in there, but pretty down about the whole thing.


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My daughter, born 2 months pre-mature, had a PIC line in for about 2 weeks. It was very scary watching them put this tube through her arm and threaded up near the heart. They struggled getting it in at first, but the second time, they got it in, and I can say I was thrilled to have it. She was getting poked and prodded all the time, and with the PIC line, she didn't need that. Once it was in, it was no problem at all. They gave her a morphine like product to sedate her to get it in, and once she awoke, I was honestly glad to have it in.

I know this isn't exactly what is happening with you, but rest assured, they did it on a 4.5 pound baby, so you will go through it like a champ!!!!

Lilli is coming up on her first birthday...yeah!!

Best of luck to you and blessings,


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My dad has had PICC lines a couple of times. It was pretty easy on him. The hardest part was his daily trips to the hospital to get the antibiotics.

You might want to ask about getting your antibiotics at home. I was able to give them to Charlie using his port. Several antibiotics come in these little pressurized bottles that don't require an IV bag, etc.

Take care. Praying for an easy insertion and administration and GREAT results!

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Don't know if this will help but i've provided some info below. I hate that your infection is stubborn. I hate that you have to go thru anymore than you already have. KNow that you are in my prayers,



PICC line

Alternative Names

peripherally inserted central line long-term intravenous catheter


A PICC line is a long, soft, flexible tube, or catheter, that is inserted through a vein in the arm. The PICC catheter is designed to reach one of the larger veins located near the heart. It is longer and thinner than a regular intravenous catheter. A PICC line is frequently used in the home setting.

What is the information for this topic?

When is a PICC line used?

A PICC line is used when a person needs intravenous medication, chemotherapy, or fluids for an extended period of time. It is also used when someone requires frequent blood sampling. The most common use for a PICC line is for giving antibiotics and chemotherapy through the veins.

How is the PICC line placed?

A doctor or specially trained registered nurse will place a PICC line in a person's arm. The procedure is done either in a hospital or in an outpatient facility. Using a needle or a guide wire, the provider inserts the PICC line into a vein located in the arm. From there it is threaded into a larger vein near the heart. Once the catheter is in the correct position, the needle or guide wire is removed and the catheter is left in place.

The catheter site is covered with a sterile dressing and the tubing is securely taped to the person's skin. Plastic tubing is connected to the end of the catheter. A chest x-ray will be done after the PICC line is inserted to check that it is correctly placed.

How long can a PICC line stay in place?

The PICC catheter can generally remain in place from five days to several months. In some cases, the catheter can remain in place for up to a year.

What type of care does the PICC line require?

The dressing is changed once a week by a registered nurse. If the catheter is not being used continuously, the nurse will flush the line with saline solution to prevent it from clogging.

What precautions should be taken after a PICC line has been inserted?

The catheter site must be kept dry. The person may bathe or shower as long as the insertion site is protected with a water-resistant covering. The person's blood pressure should not be taken in the arm with the PICC line. The PICC line site should be checked every day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pain.

What are the complications associated with a PICC line?

A PICC line is designed to stay in place for many months. However, the catheter can sometimes cause phlebitis, or vein irritation. If this occurs, a red streak may appear on the arm, and the healthcare provider should be notified. Infection is also possible, but rare. The nurse or doctor should also be notified if the person develops a fever, chills, or a rash.

Author: Pam Rosenthal, RN, BSN, CCM

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Lots of folks here have had ports and loved them. A PICC is even easier to insert. The movement in your elbow (where it is inserted) will be restricted to a small degree, but otherwise you will hardly know it's there.

If there has been some sort of past trauma to the arm or veins (like chemo) it can be difficult to thread. That is probably why the dr. thought it might have to be done inpatient.

And I agree that you should be able to give your own antibiotics, with a little help from family, at home.

Overall, a PICC can save a lot of sticks! Best wishes to you. - Teresa

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Hey Joanie-- I had to have a PICC line about 6 weeks so I could have IV antibiotics at home. I had a very nasty heart infection. Make sure they stitch it down to your skin. I caught the first one and pulled it out a couple of inches and it had to be re-done. It is no problem -- just be very careful not to get it infected. We had a home nurse that came every week and changed the bandage and checked it. It will be fine -- I promise.

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I had one after my pericardial window for quick administraion of medcines (if I needed them quickly or they couldn't get a vein). They stuck mine in my neck (Caratoid artery.) It was put in while I was under anestesia. I have a feeling that yours will be the same if needed , after surgegy. Pain only occurried if I bumped the tube. It was a long thick Pic taped very well to prevent infection in such a dangerous area like yor heart. Don't fret Joanie... Hope the procedure is painless, and goes well. Keep us up to date when you can!


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