5 Common Questions on PICC Line Dressing Changes Answered

by Dave Agolli
Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 11.55.02 AM.png

We have had the pleasure of speaking with Moteah Williams. Moteah is currently a Registered Nurse as well as the inventor of the Nistaa waterproof transparent barrier. The barrier is used to protect PICC lines and catheters and keep them dry when bathing or taking a shower. Moteah was kind enough to answer some of the questions we had on PICC line dressing changes that many patients have asked us.

What’s a PICC line dressing change? How important is it? 

“PICC line dressings are used to protect the PICC line insertion site from outside contaminates such as fluids, dirt or microorganisms (e.g. bacterial, fungi or viruses).  PICC line dressings may also be used to secure the PICC line to the patient’s skin to prevent displacement. Changing the PICC line dressing is very important, for it reduces the patient’s risk of developing an infection of the blood”.


Does it hurt to get your PICC line dressing changed?

“A PICC line dressing change involves removing the adhesive dressing from the patient’s skin, sterilizing the insertion site and the surrounding skin and then applying a new sterile dressing to the PICC line insertion site.  Removing the dressing should not be painful, but some patients may experience mild discomfort while removing the adhesive dressing from the skin”.

Note: Certain adhesives are less painful that others. Ask your RN what type of medical adhesive they use and what brand it is, so you can determine what components the adhesive has. From talking to hundreds of patients, and personal experience,silicon adhesives are the best for the skin.


Can I do a PICC line dressing change myself or does it necessarily have to be done by a healthcare professional? 

“A patient should not attempt to change the PICC line dressing. A PICC line dressing change is a sterile technique that can be done inpatient, outpatient or at home by a home health Registered Nurse (RN). 

The RN is trained on how to change the dressing, how to assess the PICC line for displacement, and how to assess the PICC line insertion site for any adverse reactions and signs or symptoms of an infection. The RN is required to report any abnormal findings to the patient’s physician.”


What are the steps in a PICC line dressing change? 

“There are youtube videos on how to change a PICC line dressing. The steps to perform a dressing change may be somewhat different for each healthcare facility. For example, some hospitals I worked at required the use of a biopatch which is a circular antimicrobial foam that is placed over the insertion site before the dressing is applied. I’ve worked at other hospitals that did not require the use of a biopath. The same goes for the statlock which is used for securing the PICC line.”


How often should I get my PICC line dressing changed?

“The dressing should be changed every seven days. If the dressing becomes wet, soiled, loose, dirty, or open to air, the dressing must be changed immediately to prevent microorganisms from entering around the insertion site.

The patient is at risk for developing sepsis if a microorganism enters the insertion site. Sepsis is an infection of the blood which could be life threatening if it is not caught in time. It is imperative that the patient notifies the physician or the RN if the PICC line dressing becomes wet, soiled, loose, dirty or open to air”. 

We would like to thank Moteah Williams for taking the time to provide all of this useful information with us. For more information, make sure to check out her website www.nistaa.com as well as her YouTube video. Enter “Mighty Well” in the discount box on the checkout page to receive a $1 off each package purchased! There is no limit for the discount.  Emily Levy, CEO & Cofounder of Mighty Well, uses Nistaa on a daily basis; Emily’s opinion on this showerproof cover is the following: “Nistaa is the only shower barrier that I have used that allowed me to have full mobility of my PICC arm and allowed me to clean the areas around my dressing while in the shower”.  

Got more questions about PICC Line?  Join us in our Friends in the Fight Group to connect with our community, or check out the video below. 

You may also like