Pre and Post Operative Care
How do my child and I prepare for the procedure?
We encourage good communication between you and your child, including the necessity and overview of the procedure as well as ensuring them that you are close by the whole time. Holding them or their hands until they leave for the procedure is a great way to provide support.
You will be given specific instructions along the way but you may need to arrive a few hours before the scheduled procedure to have some blood tests done. When you arrive at the hospital, a doctor will review the procedure and associated risks, after which you will sign a consent form. When we are ready to get started with the procedure, a nurse will place an intravenous line to deliver sedating medications and you will be allowed to accompany your child in the operating room until they are asleep, after which you will be escorted to a waiting room.
What happens after the procedure?
Nurses will monitor your child in the recovery area for 4-6 hours for successful recovery from anesthesia and any immediate complications. If they are not already an inpatient, the doctor may decide to have your child admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. As mentioned, there may be some discomfort around the needle insertion sites for some days following the procedure. Bandages and dressing must be kept clean and dry.
How long can a PICC line stay in?
PICCs are usually indicated to serve for weeks but if cared for properly, they can remain in place safely for months.
When will my child be able to shower or bathe?
You child can sponge bath for the first 48 hours while the initial bandage and dressing are in place. After 48 hours, a nurse will perform the first dressing change, after which normal showering and bathing are allowed so long as a water-resistant bandage covers the PICC insertion site, which you will be taught how to create. The insertion site of the PICC into the body must be kept clean and dry at all times.
Are there any activity restrictions?
Though your child may resume normal school-going or daycare attendance, rough-playing or contact sports or contact sports must be avoided, which can result in damage or pulling of the catheter.
CONTACT CNMC IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR CHILD EXPERIENCES ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
• Redness, pain, swelling, or bruising at the needle insertion site.
• Fever higher than 101o Fahrenheit or 38o Celsius.
The department of Interventional Radiology can be reached at: 202-476-3791, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
At all other times please call 202-259-8643, which is the on-call pager. Follow the instructions and wait for a call back.