What Are Some Patient Tips for Caring for a PICC Line?


Quick Answer

Tips for caring for a PICC line include keeping the PICC line dry, avoiding damage to the line and not engaging in activities with major arm movement, according to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A PICC line is also known as a peripherally inserted central catheter.

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Full Answer

To help keep a PICC line dry, the patient should take baths or sponge baths instead of showers as directed by a doctor. The PICC line arm should not be submerged in water. The patient should not go swimming or sit in a hot tub, notes National Jewish Health.

Individuals can avoid potential damage to the line by not allowing items to rub against or pull on it. They should not use scissors, knives or other sharp objects around the PICC line. A punctured or cut PICC line may not function properly and can increase the risk of an infection, states Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Strenuous arm movement may dislodge a line. Patients with a PICC line should avoid any activities that involve excessive arm movement and not lift objects weighing more than 5 or 10 pounds, reports National Jewish Health.

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