PICC Questions and Answers






What Is A PICC Line?


A central line which is inserted peripherally by a certified nurse. It exits at the arm rather than the chest.


Why Use A PICC?


It lasts longer than a peripheral and triple lumen. Blood can be drawn from it and medicine, blood, and TPN can be infused. It is put in by a nurse in the clients room using sterile technique. Therefore, it saves money-no surgery fees.


Who Is A Candidate For Getting A PICC?


Anyone who needs IV therapy for several months and is able to learn how to do a sterile dressing change (or has a significant other willing and able to perform a sterile dressing change) once a week. Call Texas Cancer Center, ext. X1990, if you would like your client assessed.


What Is The Procedure For Getting The Line Placed?


It requires an MD order and a patient signed consent. A call to 9 East needs to be made and a certified nurse will then come and put in the Line. This needs to be done before 5:00 PM on weekdays. PICCs will only be placed M-F 8 to 5.


Can The PICC Be Connected To An AVI?


Yes, as a matter of fact an AVI should always be used just like when infusing into a central line which exits from the chest.


Can The PICC Be Used Immediately After Placement?


The PICC may be used after placement is confirmed with a Chest Xray.


What Does A PICC Look Like?


There are two brands of PICC at Brackenridge. The Cook PICC is white opaque and the Groshong PICC is clear with a blue stripe. The Procedures for dressing change and flushing are the same, so the brand type is not significant to care.


How Is The PICC Line Flushed and How Often?


How Is The Dressing Change Done And How Often?


How Do I Draw The Blood Sample?




Refer to Central Line Guide.


Why Do I Have to Use A 10cc Syringe To Administer Only 1cc Of Flush?


The PICC is ONLY capable of taking 25 psi. If you flush with a 3cc syringe, it generates 45 psi and this can rupture the line. A 10cc syringe generates 7 psi, thus dramatically reducing the risk for line rupture.


How Do I Trouble Shoot The PICC Line?


Refer to the Troubleshooting Chart.


Who Do I Call If I Have Questions Or Need Assistance?


The Texas Cancer Center (Extension 1990). We will be providing house wide inservices in January.


Can I Use A PCA Or Epidural Pump With The PICC Line?


The AVI may be used. It exerts 4 psi on low setting and 7 psi on high setting. The PCA may be used. It generates a mean of 17 psi. The epidural MAY NOT BE USED! It generates a mean of 25 psi and as high as 35 psi.