Intravenous Literature: Di Giacomo, M. (2009) Comparison of three peripherally-inserted central catheters: pilot study. British Journal of Nursing. 18(1), p.8-16.
Peripherally-inserted central catheters (PICCS) are non-tunnelled, central catheters inserted through a peripheral vein of the arm. They are 50-60cm long and are usually made of either silicone or second-third generation polyurethane. PICCs can be used for prolonged, continuous or intermittent infusion therapies (up to 3 months) both in hospitalized patients and in patients treated as outpatients, in a hospice, or at home. When establishing a vascular service it is key to select a PICC that meets the requirements of safety, cost-effectiveness, high resistance (ability to take increasing fluid volumes with high pressure devices) and durability, and low complications rate. The complications and dwell times of three different PICCs were studied: coated polyurethane, valved silicone and power-injectable. The study was conducted at the chemotherapy suite at the authorâ€™s hospital with the aim of selecting the right PICC based on low incidence of complications, resistance and enhanced dwell time. Results show a low incidence of complications and long dwell time among patients with the power-injectable PICC. Furthermore, this study demonstrated a reduction on the rate of occlusion and rupture with power-injectable PICCs, which makes them safer to use for administration of chemotherapy and other vesicant agents, as well as for the management of patients in critical care.