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Many PICCs Placed Have Dwell Time of No More Than Five Days

Last Updated: March 07, 2018.

About 25 percent of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) placed have a dwell time of five days or less, and almost 10 percent of patients with a short-term PICC experience a complication, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, March 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- About 25 percent of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) placed have a dwell time of five days or less, and almost 10 percent of patients with a short-term PICC experience a complication, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

David Paje, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues collected data from medical records of adults who received PICCs during hospitalization. Patients were followed until PICC removal, death, or 70 days after insertion. The authors examined factors that were associated with short-term PICCs, with a dwell time of less than or equal to five days.

The researchers found that 25.3 percent of the 15,397 PICCs placed had a dwell time of less than or equal to five days; most of these (95.5 percent) were removed during hospitalization. Variables associated with short-term PICCs versus those placed for more than five days included difficult venous access, multilumen devices, and teaching hospitals (odds ratios, 1.54, 1.53, and 1.25, respectively). Overall, 9.6 percent of those with short-term PICCs experienced a complication, including 2.5 percent and 0.4 percent experiencing venous thromboembolism and central line-associated bloodstream infection events, respectively. Catheter occlusion and tip migration were the most common minor complications (4 and 2.2 percent, respectively).

"As PICC placement, even for brief periods, is associated with complications, efforts targeted at factors underlying such use appear necessary," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the publishing industry and provided expert witness testimony; several authors disclosed ties to the health insurance industry.

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