Complication rate reduction in Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Insertions


Intravenous literature: Stokowski, G., Steele, D. and Wilson, D. (2009) The Use of Ultrasound to Improve Practice and Reduce Complication Rates in Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Insertions: Final Report of Investigation. Journal of Infusion Nursing. 32(3), p.145-155.


The risk of thrombosis related to peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) is a well-known complication. A study was conducted to compare thrombosis rates associated with the old technique of inserting PICCs by visualizing veins in the antecubital fossa, using anatomical landmarks and palpation versus using ultrasound guidance to locate veins in the upper arm. The findings from data collected on 538 patients included a significant decline in the thrombosis rates, as thrombosis decreased from 9.3% with the palpation method to 1.9% with the ultrasound method, and successful PICC placements by registered nurses increased from 76.9% when using the old method to 98.9% when using ultrasound guidance.


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