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Dwell-time for a PICC

The issue of dwell-time and how it applies to peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) is somewhat dependent on the manufacturer instructions for use and on evidence-based practice. According to the Centers for Disease Control, optimal dwell-time is unknown www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/guidelines/bsi-guidelines-2011.pdf. Most, if not all, PICC products are rated for 30 days or longer according to the original FDA 510K submission. General recommendations for PICCs state average dwell-time is as an intermediate device (weeks to months) rather than years. Certain institutions have experience with long-term dwell and successful patient outcomes. Two groups that maintain documented PICC dwell of up to five years with individual PICCs are the OLEY Foundation (a patient support group) and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX. The longest known PICC dwell in a patientwas documented as 7 years with a single device. The versatility of PICCs allows for short term use or long term. Strict adherence to principles of asepsis for insertion, access and care allow the dwell-time of any vascular access device to extend without infectious complications. Patient teaching also acts as an added insurance policy to ensure that each clinician wash hands and scrub the access port effectively prior to any flush or infusion. Email me if you have any questions nancy@piccexcellence.com

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