Everyone has a different experience with their first PICC Line. There is, however, one thing that almost every patient has gone through and that is the uncomfortable first few weeks. While there are several tricks and ways to manage living with one, below are four of the best products to use with your PICC Line to make the first few weeks a little bit easier.
The First 24 Hours to 3 Weeks
Emily Levy, a patient with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease and CEO and Co-founder of Mighty Well, recalls how the first few hours were after getting her PICC Line.
“After you go home, the first 24 to 48 hours are really the most difficult. If you could be surrounded by friends and loved ones who could help you through that process, it would be really important.”
How the First Few Weeks may Affect Day-to-day Activities
Few of the discomforts you might feel is a numb and swollen arm, maybe a little bit of twitching - remember, a PICC Line is a foreign object in your body so all of these are just normal reactions.
Since your arm is swollen, it may be hard to do everyday activities like taking a shower or putting on a coat. Generally, your range of motion would be limited, but don’t worry too much as the swelling usually only happens during the first 1 - 3 weeks.
4 Best Products to Use With your PICC Line
Most patients complain about skin irritations (red, angry-looking blisters that itch and burn) and pain during dressing changes. To address these, Covalon designed IV Clear, a modernized clear silicone adhesive securement dressing. IV Clear has the best tape strip configuration to minimize pain during dressing changes. IV Clear also has two antimicrobials – chlorhexidine and silver in the silicone adhesive.
Grip-Lok is a versatile securement and stabilization device strong enough to lock catheters, tubes, and lines securely in place. Having extension tubings with your Grip-Lok can make doing treatments yourself at home so much easier.
With its easy to use disinfecting technology, SwabCap has made a huge difference in infection control. SwabCap is a simple cap for needlefree connectors - it completely disinfects for 5 minutes but still continues to work even up to 7 days.
PICCPerfect Line Covers sports a unique fold over design and access hole. Not only does it cover your treatment without exposing your insertion site to anyone, it also protects your insertion site from contaminants. These line covers are reinforced with medical grade elastic - assuring you that it won’t slip - giving you back that confidence and mobility.
There is no way around it - your first few weeks might be physically and emotionally taxing as your body tries to get used to this foreign apparatus, so give it time to heal and cope. At the same time, give yourself the same amount of patience and understand that your PICC Line is a part of you, but it does not define you. With these 4 products, the first few weeks with your PICC Line will be more manageable.