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Paula Romaine
Wait how long before inserting another PICC line in the same vein.

Two weeks ago I placed a PICC line in a post op pt.  Three days after insertion the surgeon had the nurses remove the PICC line. He now wants another PICC line placed in the same patient.  I was unable to thread the PICC catheter in the right side, therefore placed it in the left the first time.  How much time should be allowed before placing another PICC?  I was told when I was trained that you could not go back into the same vein for a month.  Anyone know of any references? 

I do not know of any

I do not know of any references supporting any particular time period. It would depend upon the trauma to the vein when the first PICC was placed and that depends upon many patient factors (vein diameter, clotting factors, primary and secondary diagnoses, etc.), and technique factors (size of catheter chosen, vein chosen, speed of catheter advancement, tip location, difficulties on advancement and how they were managed, etc.) I would look for clinical signs and symptoms of complications along with an ultrasound assessment of the vein. 

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

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

It is quite easy to assess
It is quite easy to assess the flow in the vessel, the thickness of the vessel walls, etc with ultrasound.  One can also visualize fibrin in the vessel, though not as easy with the catheter out.

Cheryl Kelley RN BSN, VA-BC

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