Picc line infection

Hi. Has anyone ever had an infection in picc line? My mum had her picc line put in nearly 2 weeks ago and first chemo last Monday. However when she went to get it flushed yesterday they said she has an infection in it. She has antibiotics and goes back tomorrow for a check up but its just so worrying. Feels like its one thing after another and I’m worried what if the infection turns serious or she gets a blood clot? But then again in a way I hope they don’t remove the picc line because they have such trouble finding my mums veins to do bloods etc. Any advice greatly appreciated xxx

Bumblegirl. So sorry to hear about your’s mum’s infection in the PIC line. I do sympathise having had problems arising from the PIC line myself. It’s such a shame that something that is meant to make things easier has created more problems. As if just dealing with the side-effects of chemo are not enough. It is understandable that you are concerned. But try not to worry too much. Your mum needs you to stay strong for her. Antibiotics are very effective and  even if she does get a blood clot, again, there is effective treatment. I hope they don’t have to remove the PIC line because when it is difficult to find veins that just adds to the anxiety - and often the bruising. 


Hope all goes well.





Hi Joan. Thank you for replying. If you don’t mind me asking what problems did you have with the picc line? It is so frustrating isnt it but I suppose its a foreign body so there’s always a risk. My mum went back today and she has to have iv antibiotics as she does still have an infection. She has to stay in for a day or two. The upside is that her bloods are really good considering its the 10th day after fec when her immune system should be low. Just really hoping she doesn’t have to have picc line removed as they were talking about a Hickman line if it does have to come out. They’ve sent swaps, etc off to see if the infection is in the line or just on the outside xxx

Hi bumblegirl,
Sorry your mum is having problems with her PICC line at the moment. When I had my 1st cycle of Tax in August 2013 I developed an infection and it turned out it was a staph infection in the PICC line. I had 2 different IV antibiotics (via the line of course!) and had to stay in hospital for about 4 days. I was sent home with another 5 days of oral antibiotics. The antibiotics worked and during the following 3 cycles I had no further bother.
I hated my PICC line and the 5 months I had it for seemed to stretch out forever. And staying on an oncology ward while the infection was being treated was not much fun. BUT… if I had to make the choice again, I would still get a line put in as the benefit of saving your veins is so great. My mum had a Hickman line put in when she had chemo for leukaemia some years ago and found it very little trouble.
One thing to watch is that IV antibiotics are very tough on the stomach. I was never sick because of chemo but was very sick with IV antibiotics. Don’t be afraid to ask for more anti-sickness if your mum needs it, especially if she is moved on to oral antibiotics which she will need to be able to keep down.
I hope your mum’s line settles down and that the infection clears. She is lucky to have you asking these questions for her. Take care.