Sunday, November 7, 2010

PICC Line Infection

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.

8 comments:

Joanna Moore said...

Hi Daria,

Is there any chance you could have a port inserted? I have had a port for the last two and a half years with no fuss, no muss. The surgical site was healed within two or three days of the insertion and I think I played tennis three days after the surgery.

Some locations seem to favor PICC lines and other locations use ports. I am not sure why there is a difference.

I hope the infection goes away quickly.

Daria said...

Hi Joanna, we'll see how my veins are cooperating ... or not. I think the port would be a nice alternative. And you are right, this clinic doesn't put in many ports ... they seem to prefer the catheter in the chest or the PICC line.

Bernie said...

Oh this looks sore, is it just the picture or is your arm very swollen in the second picture. I am sure it does feel good to have the PICC line out, hope your veins cooperate so you won't need it back in. Always in my prayers, feel better my friend....:-) Hugs

kim said...

Daria,
I am sorry to hear about the infection...bummer! I, too, would vote port if you can...I loved mine and they are basically hassle free! Praying your infection heals quickly!

Whidbey Woman said...

Ouch! That does not look good at all. Hope by the time you read this the infection has subsided.

Daria said...

No it's not swollen ... I just blew up the picture real close. The area is itchy, very itchy.

Ann said...

I had my PICC pulled last week and can relate. It's so nice to be without it, but I miss the convenience of blood-draws. Hope it heals quickly and they find an alternative. Hugs

Holly said...

yikes...PICC's are wonderful and horrible at the same time...sending you lots of love...