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Highly Accessed Letter

Peripherally inserted central catheters: a walk down memory lane ...

Jack JM Ligtenberg1*, Mirjam Holman1, Matijs van Meurs2, Jan C ter Maaten1 and Jan G Zijlstra2

Author Affiliations

1 Emergency Department, University Medical Center (UMCG), PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands

2 Critical Care Department (ICV), University Medical Center (UMCG), PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands

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Critical Care 2012, 16:418  doi:10.1186/cc11210

See related research by Pittiruti et al.,

Published: 14 March 2012

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Central venous catheters (CVCs) are essential in the treatment of critically ill patients. For skilled intensive care unit (ICU) physicians, insertion of these catheters in large central veins is routine practice. Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) were used in the early phase of intensive care as a surrogate for centrally inserted lines by less experienced physicians and in some departments (for example, hematology) with very specific patient categories. With the development of the ICU, peripherally inserted lines have been abandoned for more than two decades, at least in our center. Many bleeding and more serious local complications occurred. In more skilled hands, these lines were also not very popular, because of spasm of the vein, a tendency to take the wrong route (to the head), and thrombosis of the vein in up to 8% of patients [1].