Saturday, July 27, 2013
Commonly Used Catheters Increase Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots.
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) have become the preferred device for administering long-term intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and other drugs because they have lower risks of infection, can be conveniently placed at the bedside, and can stay in place for long periods of time; however, a new Lancet meta-analysis of 64 studies found that compared with other central venous catheters, PICCs more than double the risk of deep vein thrombosis, which are dangerous blood clots. The risk is especially high among patients who are critically ill or who have cancer. PICCs were not linked with an increased risk of pulmonary embolism.