Intravenous literature: Brewer, C. (2012) Reducing upper extremity deep vein thrombosis when inserting PICCs. British Journal of Nursing. 21(14), supplement p.S12 – S17.
While peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) provide a positive contribution in the delivery of intravenous therapies, complications following insertion can occur. One of the more common of these is upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT). Several elements of insertion are contributory factors. Research has been undertaken on patient assessment, catheter materials and size, insertion site, tip position and ultrasound placement, as well as on the value of anticoagulants. The resulting evidence informs opinion and shapes clinical practice. Inserting clinicians and advance-level nurses have a responsibility to reduce the incidence of UEDVT and improve outcomes following PICC insertion.