The Development of a Long Peripheral Catheter Program at a Large Pediatric Academic Center: A Pilot Study

Hosp Pediatr. 2020 Oct;10(10):897-901. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2020-0181.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a new long peripheral catheter (LPC) program at a large academic center in an effort to reduce the use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and their related complications.

Methods: The pilot participants were hospitalized children, age >2 years, with a need for noncentral intravenous access for 2 to 29 days, or laboratory blood draw >5 times per day. Patients expected to discharge with intravenous access were excluded. Included in the pilot program development were a literature review, 1-year baseline data analysis, and program design and implementation. A multidisciplinary committee developed and implemented the program from December 2018 to September 2019. LPCs were placed from August to September 2019.

Results: Regarding the baseline data, between July 2018 and June 2019, 584 PICCs were placed in 461 patients. Of these, 139 PICCs (24%) did not meet requirements necessitating central access and, potentially, could have been avoided if an LPC alternative were available at the time. For the LPC pilot program, 20 LPCs were placed in 19 patients. The median age was 11 (interquartile range of 7-15). The insertion success rate was 83%. There were no serious complications, such as venous thrombosis or catheter-related bloodstream infection. The total rate of minor complications was 35%: the rate of occlusions was 10% (n = 2), and the rate of dislodgement was 25% (n = 5). The catheter failure rate was 74 per 1000 catheter-days. The mean line duration was 6 days.

Conclusions: There is a role for LPCs in hospitalized children requiring durable vascular access. Multispecialty designed pilot implementation of an LPC program was successful at an academic pediatric hospital.