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Peripherally inserted central catheter in critically ill patients


The use of the vascular catheters is one of the most important and required interventions in ICUs. One of these options is the peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), which is inserted by habilitated nurses in patients who are in these conditions in the ICU.

Background and objectives

To evaluate the use of this type of catheter in an adult ICU in the city of São Paulo, to check indication, insertion, maintenance and its complication rate.


A prospective and descriptive study performed during 1 year from March 2003 to March 2004. From 89 evaluations, 40 PICC were inserted.


The main indication for the use of PICC was the administration of antibiotics, followed by difficulty in venous access and the administration of medications that act in the vascular system. Eighty-five percent of the catheters were used in the Semi-ICU. The great majority of patients were taken off the catheter just after the completion of the treatment (85%). There were two cases of phlebitis, three cases in which the catheter was accidentally removed and one case of obstruction.


The PICC has importance and application in intensive therapy, being one more therapeutic option, with a low range of mechanical and infectious complications. It is necessary for institutional training to have adequate maintenance and manipulation.


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Lamblet, L., Guastelli, L., Moura, D. et al. Peripherally inserted central catheter in critically ill patients. Crit Care 9 (Suppl 2), P104 (2005).

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  • Catheter
  • Great Majority
  • Vascular System
  • Infectious Complication
  • Descriptive Study