Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Infections
|Veins in the Arm|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Having a catheter for a very long time
- Having a catheter that is not coated with an antimicrobial (a substance that kills bacteria)
- Having a catheter inserted into a vein in the thigh
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being in the intensive care unit
- Having an infection elsewhere in the body or skin
- Shaking, chills
- Fast heart rate
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness at the catheter site
- Drainage from the catheter site
- Blood tests and cultures—to check blood cells and to check if bacteria are present
- Other cultures— urine , sputum , and/or skin to test for infection
- Echocardiogram —to check the heart to see if bacteria reached the heart valves
- Antibiotics—Antibiotics are medicines used to treat an infection. The kind of antibiotic you will be given depends on which bacteria is found in your blood.
- Central line care—Often, the PICC line will need to be removed and replaced by a new catheter.
At the Hospital
- Carefully choose a safe site to insert the catheter.
- Thoroughly wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer.
- Wear surgical gowns, masks, gloves, and hair coverings.
- Clean your arm with antiseptic cleanser.
- Place a sterile sheet over you.
- Thoroughly wash their hands and wear gloves before touching the catheter or changing the bandage over the catheter.
- Use an antiseptic to clean the catheter opening.
- Take precautions when handling medicine, fluid, or nutrition that will be delivered through the catheter.
- Keep the catheter in place only as long as is needed.
- Check the catheter and insertion site daily for signs of infection.
- Not allow visitors in your hospital room when the bandage is being changed.
- Ask the staff to take every precaution to prevent an infection.
- Tell the staff right away if the bandage needs to be changed or if the site is red or sore.
- Ask everyone entering your hospital room to wash their hands. Do not allow visitors to touch your catheter.
- Follow all instructions concerning your PICC line.
Learn how to take care of your catheter. Follow these general guidelines:
- Follow specific instructions about showering and bathing
- Before touching the catheter, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer. Wear gloves when touching the area.
- Change bandages as directed
- Wash the catheter caps with an antiseptic.
- Do not allow anyone to touch the catheter or the tube.
- Check the insertion site daily for signs of infection, such as redness or pain.
- Call your doctor if you think you have an infection (fever, chills).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/
Society of Critical Care Medicine http://www.sccm.org/
Communicable Disease Control Unit (Manitoba Health) http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/index.html/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Central venous catheter. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: http://www.thoracic.org/sections/education/patient-education/patient-information-series/resources/en/central-venous-catheter.pdf . Accessed September 23, 2009.
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Marschall J, Mermel LA, Classen D, et al. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute care hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol . 2008 Oct;29 Suppl 1:S22-30.
Neff D. Preventing infections during surgery: what hospital staff and patients can do. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointOfCare/perc-about . Updated January 2010. Accessed January 12, 2010.
Professional Guide to Diseases . 9th ed. Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.
Smith N, Walsh K, and Pravikoff D. Central venous catheter care. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=860 . Published May 8, 2009. Accessed September 23, 2009.
Walsh K. Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) care: an overview. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=860 . Published August 28, 2009. Accessed September 14, 2009.
Wood D. Blood poisoning. EBSCO Health Library. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated November 2008. Last updated November 17, 2008. Accessed September 23, 2009.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/30/2012 -