J Acute Care Surg.  2021 Mar;11(1):30-35. 10.17479/jacs.2021.1.30.

Bedside Ultrasound-Guided Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Placement by Critical Care Fellows in Critically Ill Patients: A Feasibility and Safety Study

  • 1Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Critical Care Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, Korea


In the intensive care unit, a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) may be an alternative option to standard central venous catheters, particularly in patients with coagulopathies or at high risk of infection. The purpose of this research was to assess the feasibility of bedside ultrasound (US)-guided PICC placement by critical care fellows on intensive care units.

All bedside US-PICCs inserted by critical care fellows from July 2013 to September 2015 were retrospectively reviewed focusing on the rate of successful insertion, complications of insertion, or during maintenance.

A total of 177 US-guided PICCs were inserted in 163 patients and included in the analysis. The median age was 62 years (IQR 50-70 years) and 104 cases (58.8%) were male. There were 172 cases (90.4%) of PICCs inserted in the upper arm. Anticoagulant therapy was used in 26 patients (14.7%) and 8 patients (5.2%) had severe coagulopathies. The median procedural time was 30 minutes (IQR 19-45 minutes). Insertion success rate was 93.2%, and there were no major complications during insertions except for malposition (12.1%). Catheters remained in place for a total of 3,878 days (median 16 days: IQR 8-31 days). There was only 1 case (0.6%) of catheter-related bloodstream infection, and 2 cases (1.2%) of symptomatic venous thromboembolism.

Bedside US-guided placement of PICCs by critical care fellows is safe and feasible. The success rate of the procedure was “acceptable,” and was not associated with significant risks of infectious and non-infectious complications, even in patients with coagulopathies.


catheters; critical illness; ultrasound
Full Text Links
  • JACS
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error