Health care has been undergoing rapid evolution evident by great application of integrated technologies. Some of the modern technologies maybe inefficient if used carelessly or with low professionalism. Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) is one of the integrated technologies currently used in the administration of certain drugs to patients deemed to have complex health conditions (Periard, 2010). PICC is a long, thin and flaxy tube inserted into the peripheral vein of a patient, usually at the upper arm and advanced to reach the opening of the vein just above the heart. The line becomes very useful in cases where the given patient is under long-term administration of antibiotics, in blood transfusion, supply food molecules into the blood of a patient with faulty digestive system and chemotherapy.
Considering the delicate nature of the PICC and the target organ, which is the heart, there needs to be proper care procedures to improve the safety of any patient surviving on this device. Chemotherapy involves use of very strong chemicals to suppress the survival of the cancerous cells in the body of a patient (Joyce et al, 2011). These chemicals can have very negative effects on some untargeted body organs. The effects may involve and not limited to killing or mutation of the cells surrounding the given organ. Insertion of the tube into the body requires pricking or formation of certain openings on the body surface. These openings can be the entrance point of bacteria and viruses that may infect the body with new diseases that were absent as at the commissioning of the medication.
There have also been cases where the PICC line develops leakage upon insertion into the venal system of the body. Leakages may see the administered medicine diverting towards unintended points in the body. Instead of treating or serving the intended purpose, such medicine may result to serious health complications. According to Periard (2010), some case of insertion of the PICC have seen the catheter lying on wrong organ or lying in a wrong manner, thus resulting to health complications like fever and chills, head, neck and arm swell, pain in the arm covering the PICC line, and swelling, redness or turgidity in the arm containing the PICC line. Moreover, there have also been cases of the PICC line plucking off the vein system especially when the patient engages in heavy duties or play (Joyce et al, 2011). Furthermore, water molecules can also enter the body system through the PICC line. This may also cause health complications such change in osmotic pressure that may lead to withdrawal water molecules from the blood in the surrounding veins. DeLemos (2011) warns about the possibility of the catheter breaking and entering the bloodstream of the individual patient. Such occurrence can lead to contamination of patient’s blood with foreign materials that may to lead to unexpected health complications. Bearing the weight of the possible health risks occurring upon insertion of the PICC, there is need to define proper care procedures right from the beginning of medication.
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One of the proper care practices should involve regular flushing of the unused PICC lines with liquid injected by use of syringes. Since it is difficult for the typical patient to do this in solidarity, there is need for the medical practitioner performing this medication to assign a nurse or train patient’s relative or partner to help accomplish this task. As mentioned by DeLemos (2011), the PICC line should also be disinfected with antibiotics. A nurse who may instruct patient’s intimate on how to perform the task at home should do this. After installation, the line should be held in position by use a dress. There should also be regular dressing or changing of the cover cloth. Nurses performing the insertion of PICC line should give the patient a waterproof cover to use during bathing (Joyce et al, 2011). The patient should also not engage in swimming activities. There is also need for instructing the given patient to make regular visits to the hospital for health inspection. The line should be closed using either the clamp or cap depending model of the line used. The patient should keep off from sharp objects like scissors and knife. It is recommendable for healthcare practitioner handling the given PICC line patient not to engage in heavy tasks, or activities involving intense lifting of arms. It is part of proper care procedures for nurse or healthcare practitioner to make X-ray photography to check the positioning of the PICC line on the chest.
The aforementioned proper care procedures are very efficient and practical in ensuring positive health condition for a patient under medication administered by use of PICC line. To begin with, the use of waterproof cover during baths will help prevent water from penetrating the dressing, and spoiling the dress or entering the line. Restriction of play and performance of turf duties by the typical patient can help in checking the right position of the line, and preventing it from falling off the body. Regular disinfection of the mouth of the line and changing of the dress can help in reducing viral infection that may result to contraction of more dangerous diseases. Directive concerning regular patient visit to the hospital will help the healthcare practitioner detect any questionable signs like swelling of head and allergic reactions, and take necessary actions. Regular flushing with liquid and closing of the mouth of the line will help in preventing air molecules from entering the line to cause blockage of the catheter.
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