Blood sampling through a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is safe and effective in children, according to new research. Collecting blood through a PICC rather than venipuncture isn't associated with greater rates of occlusion, infection, or mechanical complications.
The study involved 204 children about 10 years old who had 3-French PICCs for about 16 days. Patients in one group (84 children) didn't have blood drawn through their PICCs. The other 120 children had an average of four blood samples taken from each catheter. Blood was successfully collected from PICCs more than 98% of the time.
Although catheters in the blood sampling group had a higher occlusion rate, the difference wasn't statistically significant. Researchers also didn't find any significant differences in infection or mechanical complication rates between the two groups.