We’ve been there. Our team members know what it’s like to live with a PICC line. We’ve made mistakes and learned from them, and now we’re here to share our knowledge and help you through the experience. PICC Line Care can be tough, especially to keep it clean, but we have lots of advice to share on this topic. Keep reading to hear our insider tips to best protect your PICC line!
How do I care for my PICC line?
After your PICC has been placed, use a warm compress on the insertion site for ten to thirty minutes to reduce pain. In the case of swelling, putting your arm up on top of pillows when you are in a sitting or lying position is a good remedy.
To avoid infection, it is necessary to wash your hands at all times for PICC line care. Aside from proper hand washing, use sterile gloves to protect the IV from dirt, germs, or bacteria. Disinfect the catheter, tubing, caps, and other parts of the PICC before and after use.
You must also avoid activities that could expose your IV to infection, such as bathing and swimming. When you take showers you must also be very careful! Your PICC insertion site must not get wet; you should use a waterproof shower cover or shower sleeve. I have personally used a variety of shower covers. Before knowing about these, I used to shower by covering my PICC with plastic wrap and tape! If you are looking for a functional and comfortable waterproof shower cover, Mighty Well has got your back. Check out our Waterproof Shower Protector to shower with confidence!
Demanding or strenuous activities that require the arm on which the PICC is placed should be avoided. Ask for assistance when you have to lift heavy objects to avoid pressure on your PICC.
Keep it covered
You can use a PICC line sleeve or infusion sleeve to protect the tubing, catheter, and cap from any force, rubbing, and other influences that may tug the line from its place. A PICC Line Cover will also help protect your PICC from dirt and will help you do your regular activities with ease and comfort.
Before and after medication, you have to clean the tubing, caps, hubs, and injection ports. You may use an alcohol pad to remove germs that may have attached to your catheter. Remember to change your alcohol pad with each part that you clean to avoid transmission of germs or dirt to other areas.
The bandage used on the site where the catheter penetrates the skin should be changed regularly. A medical practitioner will be changing your dressing. However, you must be aware of what he or she is doing, and make sure he or she is taking the necessary sanitary precautions! If you observe any sign of infection on the site of insertion, you must let your doctor know.
Protecting your PICC line
After inserting your PICC line, your doctor or caregiver will give you all the information you need to properly care for your catheter. Nevertheless, do not hesitate to call your caregiver if you need help or feel unusual pain around the area of insertion, in your arm, neck, shoulder, or chest.
In the case of a blood clot, blockage, or infection on the site of insertion or in your catheter tubing, your PICC may need to be removed and replaced with a new one.
Mighty Well designs medical apparel and accessories for patients going through long-term treatment. Our first product was the PICCPerfect® PICC Line Cover. This cover allows patients to safely and securely protect their PICCs and do their treatment without having to expose their insertion site. Our covers are antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, machine washable, and contain 4-way stretch. They are reinforced with medical-grade elastic to prevent them from falling. Our products are made in the USA and are recommended by PICC nurses!
For more information on caring for your PICC, watch the video below:
Got more questions about PICCs or Ports? Check out our Educational Hub for more information.
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