PICC and Midline Care Instructions

Care Instructions:

  • Cover dressing with waterproof barrier prior to bathing/showering
  • Helpful Hint: If the port to the PICC/Midline is in your way we recommend purchasing a neoprene sock to pull up over your arm to keep the port out of the way. A cheaper option is to purchase a package of tube socks, cut the foot off the tube sock and pull the elastic section up over the arm to keep the port out of the way.
  • Do not submerge arm in water (no swimming or hot tub use)
  • Do not lift more than 10 lbs
  • Do not use a crutch with the affected arm
  • If line gets pulled out, DO NOT attempt to push line back in. Call your provider or go to the emergency room.
  • If line is pulled out completely, apply firm pressure to site with clean gauze or towel for at least 15 minutes. Call your provider right away or go to the emergency room if bleeding continues. Do not throw the line away. The provider will need to examine it.
  • Dressing changes must be performed by a nurse at least once every seven days. If dressing becomes wet or soiled, it should be changed right away.

Flushing Instructions:

  • Always wash hands before flushing or caring for line
  • Line must be flushed at least once every 24 hours
  • Scrub the tip of the catheter for at least 15 seconds with a new alcohol wipe and allow to dry completely before connecting syringe or tubing
  • Push air out of flush before connecting (prime the flush). Push a small amount of saline into the line, then pull back on flush until you see blood in the tubing. Push the remaining saline into the line using a push/pause method. (Note: PICC lines should ALWAYS have blood return. Midlines may not return blood and still be functioning correctly.)

Call your health care provider right away if any of the following occurs:

  • New redness, swelling, warmth or pain in the affected arm (some bruising and tenderness is normal after insertion)
  • You experience fever, chills or shortness of breath
  • Drainage of fluid, blood or pus from the insertion site
  • Line gets pulled out more than 2 cm (3+ black dots visible on line)
  • Line becomes cracked or otherwise damaged
  • Line is difficult to flush or does not flush
  • Dressing gets wet, soiled or peels off skin

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or proceed directly to the emergency room.