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MP Chlebicki, EK Teo
Correspondence: M P Chlebicki, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peripherally inserted central catheters are frequently used whenever reliable central venous access is required for a prolonged period of time. The objective of this study was to review utilisation profile, complication rates and outcomes of patients who were treated in our hospital with the therapy that required placement of the peripherally inserted central catheter. We reviewed the medical records of all patients who had peripherally inserted central catheter placed between the beginning of July and the end of October 2002. Five patients who remained hospitalised at the time of review (six weeks after the last day of study period) were excluded. Seventy-eight patients with 94 peripherally inserted central catheters were analysed in detail. Sixty-four peripherally inserted central catheters (68.1%) were placed for prolonged antibiotic therapy, 27 (28.7%) mainly to administer total parenteral nutrition and 3 (3.2%) were inserted for other reasons. Catheters were in place before removal for a mean 17.2 days. Forty-eight catheters (51.1%) were removed after completion of therapy on average 20.2 days after insertion. Complications were frequent but minor. Thirty-three catheters (35.1%) were removed due to catheter-related complications. The most common complication were phlebitis followed by accidental removal. In summary, peripherally inserted central catheters proved to be reasonably safe and a reliable way of providing therapy requiring prolonged intravenous access. Complications were frequent but relatively minor. Complication rates in our study were similar to those reported in other studies on this subject. Peripherally inserted central catheters remain a convenient and reasonable alternative to other centrally or peripherally inserted venous devices.
Keywords: peripherally inserted central catheter, catheter-related infection, central venous catheterisation
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(10): 531-535