A practical guide to safe peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) placement


Intravenous literature: Kelly, L. (2013) A practical guide to safe PICC placement. British Journal of Nursing. 22(8), IV Supplement. p.S13-S19


Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are a popular device for long-term vascular access. They were introduced into practice in the US in the 1970s, but only gained popularity in the UK during the 1990s (Gabriel, 1995). Many nurses now provide services for central venous access. To ensure patient safety, it is important that practitioners inserting these devices maintain up-to-date knowledge and ensure evidence-based practice. This should ultimately reduce complication and risk during insertion. The purpose of this article is to offer a guide to safe PICC insertion by providing an overview of anatomy and physiology and focusing on some of the main complications of PICC insertion and methods along with ways of reducing these.

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