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Measurement of Vein Diameter for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Insertion: An Observational Study

Sharp, Rebecca BN, BHSc (Hons); Cummings, Melita BN; Childs, Jessie BHSc, BHSc (Hons), GradDipSon; Fielder, Andrea PhD, BSc, BSc (Hons); Mikocka-Walus, Antonina PhD, MA (Psych); Grech, Carol PhD, MN, BN; Esterman, Adrian PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000125
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Choosing an appropriately sized vein reduces the risk of venous thromboembolism associated with peripherally inserted central catheters. This observational study described the diameters of the brachial, basilic, and cephalic veins and determined the effect of patient factors on vein size. Ultrasound was used to measure the veins of 176 participants. Vein diameter was similar in both arms regardless of hand dominance and side. Patient factors—including greater age, height, and weight, as well as male gender—were associated with increased vein diameter. The basilic vein tended to have the largest diameter statistically. However, this was the case in only 55% of patients.

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (Ms Sharp, Ms Childs, Dr Fielder, and Prof. Grech); Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia (Ms Cummings); School of Health Sciences, University of York, York, United Kingdom (Dr Mikocka-Walus); and Sansom Institute of Health Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (Prof. Esterman).

Rebecca Sharp, BN, BHSc (Hons), is a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia.

Melita Cummings, BN, is a clinical practice consultant, PICC Service, Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia.

Jessie Childs, BHSc, BHSc (Hons), GradDipSon, is a lecturer in health sciences (medical sonography) at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia.

Andrea Fielder, PhD, BSc, BSc (Hons), is a research fellow at the University of South Australia's School of Nursing and Midwifery in Adelaide, Australia.

Antonina Mikocka-Walus, PhD, MA (Psych), is a senior lecturer at the University of York's School of Health Sciences in the United Kingdom.

Carol Grech, PhD, MN, BN, is head of school at the University of South Australia's School of Nursing and Midwifery in Adelaide, Australia.

Adrian Esterman, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), is a professor of biostatistics at the University of South Australia's Sansom Institute of Health Research and its School of Nursing and Midwifery in Adelaide, Australia.

Corresponding Author: Rebecca Sharp, BN, BHSc (Hons), School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001 (rebecca.sharp@mymail.unisa.edu.au).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

© Copyright 2015 by Infusion Nurses Society