ECG guided positioning of peripherally inserted central catheters



In the VieCuri Medical Centre each year 250-300 Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) are inserted. PICCs are venous devices intended for short to medium periods of intravenous treatment with medication, antibiotics or fluids. Positioning of the catheter tip at the cavo-atrial junction is necessary for optimum performance of a PICC.

We introduced a new ECG guided positioning technique which obviated the need for fluoroscopy guided positioning in the OR and allowed us to insert the catheters in the patients’ own bed in the OR recovery room. The vascular surgeons, surgical residents and the OR recovery room manager formed an IPU for this project.

This technique was to our knowlegde largely unknownd in the Netherlands before introduction in our hospital but could be introduced in all Dutch hospitals. Cost reduction may vary in different hospitals.

Implementation of ECG guided tip positioning for PICC was safe and effective in our hospital and lead to an improved high value and cost-conscious care.