Safety of umbilical catheters and PICCs for VLBW infants

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The incidence of complications associated with the use of UVCs and PICCs in VLBW infants did not significantly differ in our study” Konstantinidi et al (2019).

Abstract:

Background and Objective: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) and umbilical venous catheters (UVC) are frequently used for vascular access in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). While there is a significant need for these devices for critically ill neonates, there are many complications associated with their use. We aimed at investigating the incidence of UVC and PICC complications in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.

Materials and Methods: This is an observational study performed with neonates of the tertiary General Hospital of Piraeus, Greece, during an 18 month-period. Seventy-one neonates were recruited and divided into two groups: 34 neonates with PICC and 37 neonates with UVC. We recorded: Catheter dwell time, the causes of catheter removal, other complications, infections, and catheter tip colonization rates.

Results: No significant statistical differences were noticed between the 2 study groups with regards to demographic characteristics, causes for catheter removal, catheter indwelling time or the incidence of nosocomial infection. Eleven UVC tips and no PICC tips were proved colonized (p = 0.001) following catheter removal.

Conclusions: The incidence of complications associated with the use of UVCs and PICCs in VLBW infants did not significantly differ in our study. Their use seems to be equally safe. Further studies, with larger samples, are necessary to confirm our results.

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Reference:

Konstantinidi, A., Sokou, R., Panagiotounakou, P., Lampridou, M., Parastatidou, S., Tsantila, K., Gounari, E. and Gounaris, A.K. (2019) Umbilical Venous Catheters and Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters: Are They Equally Safe in VLBW Infants? A Non-Randomized Single Center Study. Medicina. 55(8), p.E442. doi: 10.3390/medicina55080442.

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