Common PICC Line Complications and How To Prevent Them

Common PICC Line Complications and How To Prevent Them

If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of wearing a PICC line, you’re not alone. Complications with a PICC line often frighten patients. But there is no need to feel intimidated as you can easily avoid such daunting complications, if only you know how to take of yourself. While living with a PICC line, there are a few things, like keeping it clean and maintaining proper hygiene during dressing changes, you have to keep in mind. In case, you are wondering how to deal with PICC line complications, keep reading below.



The possibility of infection is undoubtedly high. Since a PICC line is positioned in a vein, the area is extremely prone to infection. The break in the skin gives easy access to germs. As most germs come from our body skin only, it’s important to keep the area around catheter clean and infection-free. To prevent catching an infection, practice washing your hands and using alcohol-based hand gels to maintain good hand hygiene. Besides, you must keep the area dry by avoiding getting into a shower or pool or wetting the area around the PICC line.  


Dislodging the PICC Line

The most common problem with the PICC line is it gets displaced, either the line comes out, or there is breaking or splitting. The best way of prevention is to avoid activities that involve much arm movements or put stress over the arm. Exercises and heavy weight lifting are not suggested unless you have your healthcare’s permission. In case, the catheter is severely damaged, get it removed and replaces immediately. 


Air in the PICC Line

PICC lines are tightly secured with valves and caps to prevent air from getting in. if you’re worried that this might happen, make sure the cap is tightly sealed when the line isn’t in use. The air in the line can lead to air embolism, where air enters into the vein. Though it takes as much as 50ml or more amount of air to cause serious problems, the best practice is to keep the risk minimum. Avoid manipulating the valves and touching the line, unless required. In case, you experience symptoms of an air embolism like sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea, connect with health care provides the very same instance.


Though living with a PICC line isn’t easy, complications are avoidable when you take proper care and measures. To keep your A PICC line or catheter secured and dry, consider PICC line covers that minimize the risk of complications. If you’re wondering where to buy PICC line covers, visit Dialysis Care Online.

DISCLAIMER: This Site Does Not Provide Medical Advice

All of the content provided on the website or blogs, such as text, treatments, dosages, outcomes, charts, patient profiles, graphics, photographs, images, advice, messages, forum postings, and any other material provided on the this site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider regarding your health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

Leave a comment: