Reducing peripherally inserted central catheters in the neonatal intensive care unit

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Our objective was to safely reduce the number of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) inserted in infants with umbilical venous catheter using quality improvement methods.


In a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit, a questionnaire designed to prompt critical thinking around the decision to place a PICC, along with an updated standardized feeding guideline was introduced. PICC insertion in 86 infants with umbilical venous catheter (pre intervention) with birth weight 1000-1500 g were compared with 115 infants (post intervention) using Fisher's exact test.


PICC lines inserted after the intervention decreased by 37.5% (67/86; 77.9% vs 56/115; 48.7%; P<0.001). The proportion of central line-associated blood stream infection were 2.49 vs 2.82/1000 umbilical venous catheter days; P = 0.91 in the two epochs, respectively.


Quality improvement methodology was successful in significantly reducing the number of PICCs inserted without an increase in central line-associated blood stream infection.

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