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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Help! My PICC line is leaking! Anyone else had that?

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Author Topic: Help! My PICC line is leaking! Anyone else had that?
Rumigirl
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My PICC line has been leaking on and off when I infuse. It's only sometimes, and only a little, but, of course, it shouldn't leak at all!

It leaks from where the catheter comes out of the dressing, not from where the extension set screws in. My nurse thought it was maybe from the line being clogged (which it was). He used Cath-Flow, some enzyme stuff, to clear the line.

Then it was fine. But last night it leaked again. So the nurse said it should come out. There have been a few times when I didn't flush

my line for a day (I know, I should have). So it seems to get clogged. But it shouldn't be leaking in any case, right??

I will get it removed tomorrow or Sat. I guess. I hate to get another one, as I've had so much trouble with this one (a lot of

on-going pain). And the next one would have to go in my right
arm, and I am very right handed!

Anyone else had this? It has been one thing after the other, first with peripheral lines---5 out of 6 veins collapsed. Then the

PICC with pain a fair amount for 6 months. Now the leak. Errrgh! Maybe a port?? My LLMD doesn't like to rx ports--too invasive. Maybe no IV for a while??

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soleil16
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Is there maybe a small hole in the line?

I've read that it's better to have the PICC pulled than to try repairing it. I imagine the chances of infection go up a lot if there is a hole.

Best of luck to you, it sounds like the IV path has been rough for you. Hopefully this time there is an easy fix.

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bigstan
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You have a small crack time to get it pulled an have another put in. Sorry for the bad news.


KA

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HERX is a Four Letter Word!

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Rumigirl
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Well, I just flushed the line, and it GUSHED!! So it has to go. Sigh. It's been one darned thing after the other. I'm ready for a break! But not this kind of break.
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soleil16
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Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. How frustrating it must be. But take the break for what it is and load up on probiotics and try to do some detox. Good luck!
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Bheiser
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be careful. you may have a clot
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Rumigirl
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A clot? Should I have it checked before I have the line removed??
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sammy
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This happened to me a couple weeks ago. When I flushed my PICC it leaked from the insertion site.

My doc said not to use it. I just left it alone until I could arrange for home health care to pull the line a couple days later.

Turns out there was a crack in the catheter below the insertion site.

Please be careful Rumigirl, you do not want the catheter to break.

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Rumigirl
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My nurse is pulling the line tomorrow. Both he and my LLMD said that it would be ok until then, if I didn't use it---didn't infuse or flush.

I called my LLMD about whether I might have a clot. He said "no." He said the signs of a clot would be pain in the arm and redness. I

have had pain in the arm on and off, but it's not severe, and no redness to speak of. So, I guess that's ok.

There's obviously a crack in the line already. You would think that they would have to guarantee that the lines would last a while, but apparently not.

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Rumigirl
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Sammy,

Did you get a new PICC line? And, if so, did you then have to have it in your dominant side, ie right arm, if you're right-handed?

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sammy
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Yes, I did get a new PICC line placed in my Right arm.

They said that it would be best to switch arms since I had the PICC in my Left for approx 6mo.

I am also Right handed so I understand your nervousness and frustration.

It absolutely crushed me when I realized that my PICC line was cracked and I would have to get it replaced. I took such excellent care of it, I wanted it to last through my IV treatment.

I just didn't want to have to pay for another one to be placed. Finances are unbelievably tight and that has been a huge stressor for me.

And I didn't want to go through the pain again. I had a lot of pain and vascular spasms with my first one.

It has been hard getting used to having the new PICC in my Right arm because I was so used to using this arm for everything. Now I have to be careful. My arm tells me if I do too much! (It will bleed or start throbbing and hurting)

I also relapsed very quickly, within 3 days of being off the Rocephin, and got progressively worse before the new line was placed 10 days later. So even though they had to place the PICC in my Right arm, i'm grateful to have it back so that I can take my medicine!

On the bright side, it is a new line so hopefully I won't have to worry about any complications for awhile. PICC lines are only meant to last a couple weeks to a couple months. 6mo is a long time i've been told. The older they get, the higher the risk of infection and clots.

Hang in there Rumigirl. I know that this is a hard time for you but you will pull through.

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