Evidence demonstrates that neonatal PICCs may migrate 24 hours after insertion

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Intravenous news: Family Practice News report “A full 45% of all peripherally inserted central catheter lines placed in the basilic or cephalic veins migrated 24 hours after insertion in a retrospective analysis of 100 consecutive lines placed in a neonatal intensive care unit. Of the 76 peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines placed in the basilic vein, 35.5% migrated inferiorly and medially (mean 1.48 cm), 14.5% migrated laterally (mean 1.74 cm), and 50% did not change position. Of the 19 PICC lines placed in the cephalic vein, 21% migrated inferiorly and medially (mean 1.36 cm), 15.7% migrated laterally (mean 1.75 cm), and 63.3% did not change position. None of the five PICC lines placed in the saphenous veins migrated, lead author Dr. Ansel Tjin-A-Tam reported at the annual meeting of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research.

“We’re not sure why they migrated,” he said.

In light of the findings and the potential for catheter migration to result in neonatal death due to cardiac tamponade, he recommended that all neonates have x-rays repeated at 24 hours post-insertion and PICC lines adjusted accordingly.”

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