What happens if PICC line has no blood return?

If the PICC fails to give a blood return, flush the PICC with saline and ask the patient to move position, take a deep breath or cough whilst attempting to get a blood return. If blood withdrawal remains absent, flush the PICC with 3-5mls of saline. See end note if problem persists.

How often do you flush an unused PICC line?

You’ll need to flush your PICC line as often as directed by your healthcare provider. You may need to flush it after each use. If the PICC line is not in active use, you may need to flush it once a day. Or you may only need to flush it once a week.

How long can a PICC line remain in place?

A PICC can stay in your body for your entire treatment, up to 18 months. Your doctor will remove it when you don’t need it anymore. Having a PICC shouldn’t keep you from doing your normal activities, such as work, school, sexual activity, showering, and mild exercise.

How do you know if your PICC line has moved?

Signs and symptoms of catheter-tip migration include changes in catheter patency or loss of blood return; discomfort in the upper arm, shoulder, jaw, chest, or ear during infusions; and an external catheter length that differs from the length at the time of insertion.

Why can’t you draw blood from a PICC line?

Excessive force could cause a flexible PICC to temporarily collapse and occlude the backflow of blood. On a peripheral vein, you could be pulling the vein wall over the catheter lumen as in this drawing.

Do you aspirate before flushing a PICC line?

PICC lines are typically inserted into the antecubital fossa, and then threaded into central circulation. PICC lines are frequently flushed with heparin to maintain patency and therefore it is imperative to aspirate 5 ml of blood from the line prior to use.

What are the risks of a PICC line?


  • Bleeding.
  • Nerve injury.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Damage to veins in your arm.
  • Blood clots.
  • Infection.
  • A blocked or broken PICC line.

Do you aspirate when flushing a PICC line?

Can you sleep on your side with a PICC line?

Find a comfortable sleeping position: It’s generally best to sleep on your back to prevent any friction or movement to the port, but some prefer to sleep on their side. If you must sleep in any position other than flat on your back, sleep on your non-port side.

Why use a PICC line instead of an IV?

A PICC line is thicker and more durable than a regular IV. It’s also much longer and goes farther into the vein. Health care providers use a PICC line instead of a regular IV line because: It can stay in place longer (up to 3 months and sometimes a bit more).

What happens if your PICC line moves?

Risks After the Insertion The PICC line can move out of position if it is not secured in place (with sutures). There is a risk of vein clotting (thrombosis) or vein inflammation (phlebitis). You may get an infection at the insertion site or in your bloodstream.

What happens if air gets into a PICC line?

When an air bubble enters a vein, it’s called a venous air embolism. When an air bubble enters an artery, it’s called an arterial air embolism. These air bubbles can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure. Air embolisms are rather rare.

Where does the PICC line start and end?

A peripherally inserted central catheter or PICC line is small, long, flexible, slender tube that nurses insert into a patient’s peripheral vein. The insertion usually is in the upper arm area. The PICC line usually advances until the tip of the catheter ends in a large vein in the patient’s chest near their heart to gain access intravenously.

Is it safe to remove a PICC line?

PICC lines are catheters that help patients maintain their good health. At some point, patients must have their PICC lines removed so that they can continue to maintain their good health. Nurses must be prepared to remove PICC lines in the safest manner possible.

How is a PICC line used to deliver medication?

It’s also called a PICC line. PICC line placement involves inserting a PICC line into a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. A PICC line is used to deliver medications and other treatments directly to the large central veins near your heart.

How long should a dressing stay in place after PICC line removal?

The dressing should remain in place for 24-72 hours, according to the timeframe in which the catheter was in position. Closely watch the patient after the removal for signs of infection, bleeding, and air embolism. Make sure that the hands are clean before handling the PICC line removal items and supplies.