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Tiny Patients, Tiny Dressings: A Guide to the Neonatal PICC Dressing Change

Sharpe, Elizabeth L. ARNP, MSN, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): GREENSPAN, JAY S. MD; ZUKOWSKY, KSENIA RNC, PhD, CRNP

doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000324339.79099.c2
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Advances in neonatology now support the survival of the tiniest of infants. The peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) has now become an integral part of routine practice in neonatal intensive care units around the world. Keen attention to safe maintenance of these devices is essential. A properly applied and maintained PICC dressing is the first line of defense to minimize the risk of complications such as dislodgement, migration, and infection. This article describes a neonatal PICC dressing change and discusses the frequently encountered quandaries surrounding this important procedure, including dressing materials, frequency, site preparation, barrier precautions, and other relevant concerns.

Pediatrix Medical Group, Sunrise, Florida.

Address correspondence to Elizabeth L. Sharpe, ARNP, MSN, NNP-BC, St. Mary's Medical Center, Neonatal ICU, 901 45th Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33407; elsharpe@bellsouth.net.

The author has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2008 National Association of Neonatal Nurses