Australia's #1 directory for medical equipment & suppliers

Fresh concerns have been raised over use of central catheter

16 October, 2008

NSW Health has temporarily suspended the use of one type of peripherally-inserted Central Venous Catheter (PICC), following the issue of an advice on the product from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Concerns were first raised in Queensland, following complications reported in a small number of cases, when parts of a guide wire used to install the device, remained within the patient.

This complication is very rare and only a single case has been identified in a child in NSW this year. Chief health officer Jim Bishop has requested a review of all current inpatients who have this device inserted.

“This is a very effective way of delivering drugs and antibiotics to very sick patients. While we are taking precautions, the risk remains very low.”

“Our records indicate that only a small number of hospitals use this particular type of PICC- The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and hospitals within the Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service.

”PICC lines are typically a hollow thin tube, used to provide long term access when providing drugs and antibiotics into a patient. A wire is used to help insert the device and an x-ray confirms the correct placement.

Generally these type of complications are detected at the time of insertion or when the x-ray is taken.

Any patient who has concerns about their Inserted Catheter is urged to contact their health care professional.

Have your say...

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers
Reload characters
Type the characters you see in this box. This helps us prevent automated programs from sending spam.