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  1. Knue, Marianne APRN, BC
  2. Doellman, Darcy RN, BSN
  3. Jacobs, Brian R. MD


There is little published information describing standards of practice in the placement, use, and maintenance of peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) devices in children. A Web-based survey tool was designed to query these issues, and 72 intravenous therapy nurses from 72 hospitals provided complete responses to the survey. The respondents were predominantly (81%) from healthcare organizations inserting 40 or fewer PICC devices per month. These hospitals were equally divided in using 0.9% sodium chloride (USP) (saline) or heparinized saline flush to maintain patency, whereas 76% used catheters for blood sampling. Flushing and blood sampling practices were not related to catheter occlusion rates. From their survey, the authors conclude that the standards of practice for 3-Fr PICC devices, the most commonly used for children, are quite variable and in need of standardization for this specific population.