Objective. Use of peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) to provide prolonged intravenous (IV) access in children is increasing. Our goal was to describe the children treated with PICCs in our institution, and to study catheter features such as catheter life, completion of therapy, and complications. Furthermore, we also evaluated PICC use in children completing therapy after discharge from our institution.
Methods. A prospective study of all PICCs inserted at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC), a university-affiliated teaching institution, during a period of 18 months (January 1994 to July 1995).
Results. A total of 441 PICCs were inserted in 390 patients. Patient age ranged from 0 to 22 years with a mean of 5.4 ± 6.0 years. No insertion complications occurred. Treatment of infectious disease (46%) was the most frequent reason for PICC insertion. All pediatric medical and surgical services used PICCs. Average catheter life was 13 ± 12 days. Sixty-one percent of PICCs were used entirely at CHMC, while 39% were also used at home or at an outside hospital. Completion of therapy was achieved in 69% of PICCs. Among children who completed therapy outside our hospital, there was no difference in the rates of occlusion, accidental dislodgment, or infection.
One hundred twenty-nine (29%) PICCs were removed for complications. Occlusion (7%), accidental displacement (8%), and suspicion of sepsis (8%) were the most common complications. Only 2% of PICCs had documented catheter-associated sepsis.
Conclusions. PICCs provide reliable and safe access for prolonged IV therapy in neonates and children. The low incidence of complications with PICCs make them an attractive device for prolonged IV access. Similar complication rates with use in and out of hospital suggest that home IV therapy can be safely delivered with PICCs, avoiding expensive hospitalization. peripherally inserted central venous catheter, vascular access, catheter related sepsis, completion of therapy, occlusion, accidental dislodgment, home therapy, phlebitis.
- PICC =
- peripherally inserted central venous catheter •
- IV =
- intravenous •
- TPN =
- total parenteral nutrition •
- CHMC =
- Children’s Hospital and Medical Center •
- SVC =
- superior vena cava •
- IVC =
- inferior vena cava
- Received April 19, 1996.
- Accepted July 16, 1996.
- Copyright © 1997 American Academy of Pediatrics