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Gwen Irwin
Pediatric PICC Success Rates

Is there a benchmark for the success rates for pediatric PICC insertions that is available for us to reference?

If you are a pedi PICC nurse, could you provide some help with what your expected success rate is for a competent PICC RN (meaning, not in training)?

Success Rate:

Sedation used:  Yes or no

Ultrasound used?  If yes, are all patients sedated?

Thanks for any help.

Gwen Irwin

Austin, Texas


holly hess
Gwen, Our success rate in


Our success rate in our pedi practice has increased each year since we started in currently about 96%. We use ultrasound on all over about 3 kg, and sedate about 5-10% based on several factors such as  age, developmental issues, & previous access history. In general sedation candidates are between about 1 and 5 years although it is a case by case decision, and we have sedated older and younger. We also try to coordinate PICC placement, when possible, with other procedures in which the patient will receive anesthesia. We use child life frequently and oral versed in those patients which are anxious but perhaps don't need the full sedation protocol. Our practice also includes the NICU, by the way, which most PICC teams do not do.


Wow, Holly, your program

Wow, Holly, your program sounds awesome.  Congratulations!

YOu should write it up and publish it, we'd love to hear how your journey was.

Cheryl Kelley RN BSN, VA-BC

holly hess
I didn't think anyone would
I didn't think anyone would be interested in our evolution, especially since Darcy D. had written a nice article a few years ago about the Cinncinnatti program. But I would be happy to if there was interest. Starting a program from scratch was a lot of work, but very rewarding as well.
anna liang
Holly, What is the % for


What is the % for under general? what is the average age for the sedation group vs. po versed group? thanks. 

holly hess
Did you mean what % is done

Did you mean what % is done under anesthesia or what is the success % under anesthesia?

We automatically consider sedation  (full sedation done by critical care sedation team )on ages 1-5...under 1 they can usually be successfully restrained and are not likely to remember much, over 5 we can usually distract with child life and persuade them to hold still, although as I said, we have done older and younger. I am paraphrasing Darcy Doellman from Cinn. Children's, who sedate very few, when she says that a good PICC "holder" is worth their weight in meds!

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