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Geriatric family member needs a PICC line

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by MsDelta MsDelta (New) New

Hi Community!

I have a 94 y/o family member who is dehydrated, has a new rt. leg clot and on heparin drip. She is hospitalized, not on chemo, but is a poor eater. My concerns about a PICC line are:

- infection (there's a lot of MERSA in hospitals)

- non-nurses/non-MDs inserting them

- For short term use to hydrate and possibly for TPN use

Am I being overly concerned and letting my feelings get in the way of objective health care? A nurse friend of mine said that I need to "step back and let the hospital personnel do their jobs!" What about her advanced age? Her vessels are not as able to "bounce back" as a younger client, if she gets an infection, and her systems are more at risk thatn a younger client. what i your experience with the use of PICC lines in the super-geri client? Thanks for your help in the matter.

Super Worried!:confused::banghead:

MsDelta

Your questions indicate some confusion. Inform your family member's nurse or physician that you have concerns and would like some of her/his time. Perhaps you could ask for a scheduled time to sit down with someone- this is always very helpful to staff.

Best wishes.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

We use them all the time in my LTC....never had a resident with an infection from the IV...they normally come to use with the infection.

I would suggest speaking with the doc...get the risks and benefits.

mianders, RN

Specializes in ER, Infusion therapy, Oncology. Has 13 years experience.

I work in an infusion suite and frequently use PICC lines with geriatric patients. They are very safe and the infection rate is low. The main problems I have seen with the elderly is not being able to get them wet, and if they have to be transfered a lot they can be pulled on.

Okami_CCRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I believe like a poster above stated talk with the MD about your concerns regarding the PICC Line. But here are some things you should know about a PICC Line.

1. A Radiologist (MD) or Radiology Nurse are the only ones that can insert a PICC line because it has to be done under X-RAY to make sure it reaches the correct vein.

2. Dressing Changes are done ever 72 Hours on a PICC Line using a sterile technique to maintain the area clean.

Big Pluses to having a PICC inserted are fewer blood draws since most labs can be drawn via PICC.

No need to insert multiple IV's, safer for patient since the probability of infiltration is greatly diminished.

RN1982

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

Hi Community!

I have a 94 y/o family member who is dehydrated, has a new rt. leg clot and on heparin drip. She is hospitalized, not on chemo, but is a poor eater. My concerns about a PICC line are:

- infection (there's a lot of MERSA in hospitals)

- non-nurses/non-MDs inserting them

- For short term use to hydrate and possibly for TPN use

Am I being overly concerned and letting my feelings get in the way of objective health care? A nurse friend of mine said that I need to "step back and let the hospital personnel do their jobs!" What about her advanced age? Her vessels are not as able to "bounce back" as a younger client, if she gets an infection, and her systems are more at risk thatn a younger client. what i your experience with the use of PICC lines in the super-geri client? Thanks for your help in the matter.

Super Worried!:confused::banghead:

MsDelta

We are not suppose to be giving out any medical advice. If you have questions you should ask the doctor.

1. A Radiologist (MD) or Radiology Nurse are the only ones that can insert a PICC line because it has to be done under X-RAY to make sure it reaches the correct vein.

Some of us will use an ultrasound to place a PICC, followed by a quick xray to confirm placement. Useful when you don't feel like waiting for IR to make room on their schedule.

november17, ASN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Case Management, blabla. Has 9 years experience.

Hi Community!

I have a 94 y/o family member who is dehydrated, has a new rt. leg clot and on heparin drip. She is hospitalized, not on chemo, but is a poor eater. My concerns about a PICC line are:

- infection (there's a lot of MERSA in hospitals)

- non-nurses/non-MDs inserting them

- For short term use to hydrate and possibly for TPN use

Am I being overly concerned and letting my feelings get in the way of objective health care? A nurse friend of mine said that I need to "step back and let the hospital personnel do their jobs!" What about her advanced age? Her vessels are not as able to "bounce back" as a younger client, if she gets an infection, and her systems are more at risk thatn a younger client. what i your experience with the use of PICC lines in the super-geri client? Thanks for your help in the matter.

Super Worried!:confused::banghead:

MsDelta

Yes, let the hospital personnel do their job.

1) A PICC is as likely to get infected as anything else...which is low

2) Specially trained RNs in our hospital insert them using special imaging equipment

3) What's wrong with "short term" use?

Probably half the reason a PICC line is being used, because the vessels don't bounce back. They're probably doing it because she's impossible to start a PIV on. 94 is not "super-geri" either

november17, ASN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Case Management, blabla. Has 9 years experience.

Yes, let the hospital personnel do their job.

txspadequeenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor. Has 20 years experience.

i agree you need to let the hospital people do their jobs... i understand that this is your family member but things get cloudy when one of our own is sick. are you a nurse?

there is not going to be any non nurse or non md putting in a picc line. as a matter of fact the rn's that do insert them have additional training and certs to do these. we do them all the time in geriatrics .i would much rather have a picc than a peripheral line cause i don't have to change them out.

any picc i have ever dealth withhas been placed at the bedside then x ray called to confim placement.

i have got news for you mrsa has been around for a long time in hospitals and everywhere else. the media has blown the mrsa thing outof the water. most weeks i have at least 2-3 people with it someone in there bodies and it has been that way for years....

what you need to be concerned with is stepping back and letting these people do their jobs. they know what to do in order to save your family members life. i would be way more concerned with the blood clot and the dehydration than a risk of mrsa with a picc.

hi community!

i have a 94 y/o family member who is dehydrated, has a new rt. leg clot and on heparin drip. she is hospitalized, not on chemo, but is a poor eater. my concerns about a picc line are:

- infection (there's a lot of mersa in hospitals)

- non-nurses/non-mds inserting them

- for short term use to hydrate and possibly for tpn use

am i being overly concerned and letting my feelings get in the way of objective health care? a nurse friend of mine said that i need to "step back and let the hospital personnel do their jobs!" what about her advanced age? her vessels are not as able to "bounce back" as a younger client, if she gets an infection, and her systems are more at risk thatn a younger client. what i your experience with the use of picc lines in the super-geri client? thanks for your help in the matter.

super worried!:confused::banghead:

msdelta

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

This is something that should be discussed with her doctor.

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

are you immediate family with DPOA? If mot then your input won't be needed-it will be up to whomever is.

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