How to insert a PICC: practical tips for the intensive care physician


  • Stefano Elli PICC Team, Emergency Department, ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza (MB) - Italy
  • Giacomo Bellani Emergency Department, ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza (MB) - Italy
  • Alberto Lucchini General Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, ASST Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza (MB) - Italy



CICC, Intensive Care, Occasional, PICC


Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are central vascular access devices inserted via deep veins of the arm, also useful in critical care settings. The purpose of this article is to offer to a critical care clinician with good skills in central venous catheterization, but who has limited experience on PICC catheters, the basic information on how the procedure is performed and how to minimize the risks of complications or failure of the maneuver.

The main technical steps and the main precautions to be taken during PICC placement will be analyzed, with reference to the differences compared to central catheterization. Specifically, the pre-procedural phase and the intraprocedural main steps of the maneuver will be analyzed.

A dedicated Vascular Access Team is considered useful and desirable by the current literature, but when the use of the PICC proves useful or even mandatory, the intensive care physician skilled in central venous catheters can transfer skills from central to peripheral catheterization.


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How to Cite

Elli S, Bellani G, Lucchini A. How to insert a PICC: practical tips for the intensive care physician. AboutOpen [Internet]. 2021 Apr. 11 [cited 2023 Dec. 4];9(1):11-4. Available from:
Received 2021-12-04
Accepted 2022-03-21
Published 2021-04-11