Healthcare: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The PICC is a peripherally inserted central catheters. It’s become a standard device for ben_franklindirectly furnishing nutrition to patients in hospitals. And its a problem.

In a new Michigan study, in patients requiring a PICC for less than 5 days, almost 10% incurred

  • Infection
  • Blood clot
  • Blockage

One-in-three had serious kidney issues “that could make them potential candidates for dialysis.”

“When PICCs first came out, they became an ‘easy button’ for vascular access, and the safety issues weren’t recognized,” says David Paje, M.D., M.P.H., the University of Michigan hospitalist who led the research team. “Now the dynamics have changed, and we need to be more thoughtful with their use.”(1)

The Michigan team has developed an app that can guide doctors on what methods to use to meet short-term nutrition requirements.

Why does this matter?

Eventually, you will likely have to take responsibility for a loved one who needs care — parent or signficant other. You’ll need to know what questions to ask and what to look out for. You can’t take for granted that every doctor you meet is up-to-date on the latest issues and procedures. Humans don’t work that way.


  1. Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan. “Short-term use of IV devices is common — and risky — study shows: Intravenous devices known as PICCs should be reserved for long-term use, but a new study shows 1 in 4 are used for 5 days or less.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2018. <>
  2. David Paje, Anna Conlon, Scott Kaatz, Lakshmi Swaminathan, Tanya Boldenow, Steven J. Bernstein, Scott A. Flanders, Vineet Chopra. Patterns and Predictors of Short-Term Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Use: A Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 2018; 13 (2): 76 DOI: 10.12788/jhm.2847

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