Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Cushioning: A Pilot Study Comparing Gauze With Silicone Foam

Kerrie Curtis

Cherene Ockerby

Paul Bennett

Ellen Heywood

Linda Marshall

chemotherapy, infection control, peripherally inserted central catheter, wound dressings
CJON 2015, 19(3), 253-256. DOI: 10.1188/15.CJON.253-256

A pilot study was conducted to compare gauze with silicone foam that may be left in place for as long as seven days. Adult patients who were receiving treatment via peripherally inserted central catheters were recruited and alternately assigned to either the gauze or silicone foam group. Patient-reported itch and discomfort, nurse-reported ease of removal, and skin status were recorded for four weeks at each weekly dressing change.

At a Glance

  • Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) usually remain in place for the duration of chemotherapy treatment with dressings changed on a weekly basis.
  • A gauze cushioning barrier may be used to protect the skin against the PICC hub; however, guidelines recommend that gauze is changed every 24–48 hours.
  • Silicone foam may be superior to gauze as a cushioning barrier and is appropriate for weekly dressing maintenance.
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