A best practice cost avoidance initiative

23 May 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 10

Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are increasingly being used to manage patients with acute and chronic conditions to facilitate medium- to long-term administration of intravenous therapy, including fluids, blood products, chemotherapy, nutrition, antibiotics, and/or medication that cannot be given peripherally due to the risk of irritation to the vascular endothelium. PICCs can stay in situ for weeks or months, or until therapy is completed, if there are no complications.

Historically, at King's College Hospital, when a PICC is inserted, the standard practice has been to apply a small gauze pressure dressing at the insertion site to absorb any post-insertion oozing and provide protection. The dressing is then changed within 24–48 hours to assess for post-insertion complications and apply a Biopatch; dressings are changed weekly thereafter, or sooner if they become compromised. In 2016, the practice of applying a gauze pressure dressing at insertion was changed at the King's Princess Royal Hospital site.

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