Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) complications during pregnancy


Intravenous literature: Cape, A.V., Mogensen, K.M., Robinson, M.K. and Carusi, D.A. (2013) Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Complications During Pregnancy. JPEN: Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. May 28th. .


Background: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are routinely used in women with hyperemesis gravidarum. However, little is known about the consequences of PICC insertion in these patients. Our aim was to analyze PICC-related complication rates among pregnant women.

Materials and Methods: Pregnant women with PICC insertion between January 2000 and June 2006 were studied retrospectively. Infusate type, comorbid conditions, and PICC duration were characterized. Major complications, defined as need for surgical intervention, bacteremia requiring intravenous antibiotics, or thromboembolic events, were identified. Minor complications, including phlebitis, PICC malfunction, early PICC removal, infection requiring oral antibiotics, or hospitalization for PICC evaluation, were also studied.

Results: Eighty-four catheters in 66 women were eligible for study, totaling 2544 PICC days. Catheters remained in place for 1-177 days; median duration was 21.0 days. PICCs were used for intravenous fluid (IVF, 59.4%), parenteral nutrition (PN, 34.5%), and antibiotics (6%). The overall complication rate was 18.5 per 1000 PICC days (55.9% of PICCs); 22.6% were major, with bacteremia being most frequent (20.2%). A diagnosis of diabetes was the only factor that significantly predicted complications (hazard ratio, 2.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-6.13). PICC duration and type of infusate (PN vs IVF alone) were not associated with complications.

Conclusions: PICC insertion in pregnant women is associated with a high complication rate, which appears to be independent of the type of infusate and occurs in the majority of women. PICCs should be used judiciously and only when clearly necessary during pregnancy. Further studies are needed to determine how to reduce PICC-related complications in this population.

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