PICC Line Infection

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two weeks ago, I developed this itchy rash just above my PICC line. I put some hand lotion on it and wrapped it with gauze so I wouldn’t scratch it. The redness you see in the pic only lasted a day and disappeared, however I could still feel the rash and the site was still itchy.

Two days later I had a PICC dressing change and everything looked normal. Then at this past Thursday’s PICC dressing the rash was back and it moved closer to the PICC hole. The nurse decided to dress it in such a way that there would be minimal adhesive touching the skin around it, allowing time for it to heal. I would have to come in every second day to repeat this special dressing change. So yesterday, I went in and when she took the wraps off, it didn’t look good… to the point that it was just starting to get infected around the PICC hole. It was itchy, it was red and it was warm to the touch.

She asked me what the PICC line is used for. I told her we use it for blood draws because of my damaged veins … not for chemo. We then weighed the options; she thought that if she pulled the PICC out now, it will likely heal on its own. If we wait and see, it will get worse and I would need antibiotics. My Brivanib chemo and antibiotics just don’t mix … together they’re too much for the liver to handle. I sure don’t need a full blown infection and stop my chemo, right when it started to work.

Before I left, the nurse used a black marker to outline the infected area. She said if the redness goes further, I should get back to her asap. So once again I am PICC less and it feels great. Here’s that pic.

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