Picking Up the Cause of the Stroke
Hospitalized with poorly controlled diabetes, a man had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) placed for intravenous pain medications, intravenous fluids, and parenteral nutrition. The next day, the patient complained of headache, unilateral vision loss, and left-sided tingling and numbness. Misplacement of the PICC in a left-sided superior vena cava had led to embolic strokes. In the accompanying commentary, Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, of the University of Michigan Medical School, explores the growing use of and safety hazards associated with PICCs in hospitals, along with guidelines to improve vascular access decision-making.