Intravenous literature: Haider, G., Kumar, S., Salam, B., Masood, N., Jamal, A. and Rasheed, Y.A. (2009) Determination of complication rate of PICC lines in oncological patients. Journal of the Pakistan MedicalÂ Association. 59(10), p.663-7.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the complication rate of (PICCs) peripherally inserted central catheters in cancer patients with a 1 year prospective cohort study.
METHODS: All PICCs inserted in adult cancer patients in Radiology Department of The Aga Khan University Hospital were followed prospectively till removed or patient expired and pattern of complications noted.
RESULTS: One hundred and fourty six PICCs were inserted over a period of 1 year and followed for a total of 3329 catheter-days; median placement, 14 days: range 3-218 days. Of these 67 (32.8%) PICCs were complicated and removed earlier, for a rate of 14.4/1000 PICC-days. Patients with haematologic malignancies were more likely to have complications as compared to those with solid tissue malignancies.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite a significant complication rate, PICCs are a relatively safe and cost effective method of establishing central venous access.