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Christine Thomas
Arm circumference and New INS standards

Maybe I missed it but I do not see the recommendation to measure the arm circumference of a patient with a PICC line, baseline or otherwise.  Hope I can remove from our policy but want to make sure that I didn't miss it.


Chris Thomas


You are correct - no evidence

You are correct - no evidence for it! Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Chris:  Why would you want to

Chris:  Why would you want to remove it?  I think having a baseline is important it the patient c/o discomfort or swelling...then we can see by measurement comparison.  I dont see measurements, either, but i measure the circumference at the insertion site.  That way I know it is being measured on a routine basis in the same spot each time.  Am I missing your point?

Kimberly DuBore, RN, BSN
PICC Chick and Imaging Nurse

Christine Thomas
Several practitioners have

Several practitioners have stopped this practice for the reason Lynn stated.  No evidence that increased circumference indicates a
DVT.  It is good that you establish a specific point for measurement as so many people will measure in different locations.  I have been called about increased circumferences and each and every one of them indicated everything but a DVT. ie: generalized edema, measurement at wrong area, etc.  I just evaluated by the symptoms of pain, localized edema of the arm, etc.  I just, personally, have not found it helpful.



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