About PICC Lines from VAM

Specializing in all aspects of:

Patients in Sub-Acute Facility with PICC Lines


A wide range of patients undergo PICC placements in sub-acute care for a variety of reasons such as when intravenous therapy is required for 7 days or more. As the popularity of subclavian catheters inserted into the neck area have decreased recently, PICC lines are used more than ever before.

Sub-acute care is intended to be a short-term path to recovery, and a common reason for PICC placement is for the use of parenteral feeding through total parenteral nutrition (TPN). This may be necessary for a variety of conditions when oral, or enteral, feedings might be impossible, but necessary for short periods of time such as with peritonitis or intestinal obstruction. In recent years, the use of TPN administered via a PICC line has significantly increased.

The second vital area of PICC usage is for chemotherapy administration. Published reports and literature have provided many benefits for a PICC line use. But there are two major points that need to be highlighted. Extravasations of chemotherapeutic drugs outside the blood vessels can lead to major complications, even deaths, and should administered only by experienced practitioners. In many instances medical and legal costs of such disasters can be significant.

Third, intravenous antibiotic administration is another common area in a sub-acute practice for PICCs for intensive treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections. With a PICC line in place, long term antibiotic treatment can even be completed at home.

There are also other, numerous sub-acute areas where the use of PICC has become common. Some examples include acute nutritional failure in anorexia nervosa or psychiatrically ill patients, patients with severe dysphagia (inability to swallow), waiting for a definitive surgical procedure, as well as in trauma and burn victims after the acute phase is over.

With its reduction in risks and disadvantages in patients requiring a central venous access or long term IV use, PICC lines can and will be used for an even greater number of illnesses and diseases in sub-acute or home based treatment.



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