PICC line covers

Hi everyone!

Still looking for ideas for PICC line covers. So far the rubbery ones that deflate for waterproofing haven't worked. Hope someone can demo one at the conference. Maybe we're just doing it wrong.

Also wondering what y'all use to cover PICC so it doesn't dangle during the day. That mesh stuff that comes with some of the dressing kits is just a waste -- the line ultrasite pokes right through it.

I made a couple of cute covers -- cotton tubes with elastic at top and bottom. Not so great -- the elastic was either too tight or too loose, couldn't get it to just fit snugly w/o binding.

Sock ribbing (cut off socks with holey toes) worked great for a couple of years, but now he's allowed to exercise and those biceps are too big for socks.

Most recently, I bought some of the stockinette tubes that are (I think) for under casts. That's the right stretchiness/tension for now, but it sure doesn't wash very well.

Other ideas? Thanks!

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For the PICC covers that you use in the shower, make sure you've cut it to fit well enough. Sometimes, after a lot of use, they don't work as well and will start to leak, or sometimes they rip. If this has happened, I know the company has a very nice replacement policy. I've gotten two new ones after ones I had ordered ripped when I would take it off.
During the day, I use Tube-a-grip (not sure if that's how it's spelled or not). The kind I use is kind of tan colored so it doesn't stand out too much. It has little elastic bands all around it so it fits snugly, but again, after you wear it for a while, the ends start to get loose and fray. It comes in a big roll so you can cut it to length.
Hope this helps!

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Oh gosh - I love the rubbery cover and it always worked great for me. I have a Hickman now and when I shower, I take two square pieces of Glad Press 'n' Seal and cover the tubing very well. Then I take silk tape (though the stores like CVS call it "cloth" tape) and tape all sides. This seems to be the most waterproof I have gotten over the past several years. Good luck!


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There is a product called Aquaguard that you might like. It's a big square bandage-y thing that husband used very easily and successfully with Hickman.

Guess we just need better info on how to get the rubbery kind to fit on his arm.


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Thanks for the info about Tubi-grip. I googled it but only found it in huge packages so far.

Hope to find someone at conf who will demo using the covers for PICC!


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I'll be glad to show you my PICC covers at the conference. I plan on going in the pool and the ocean with mine, so we can test to see how well they really work, haha.
As for the Tubi-grip, my mom is a home health nurse, and she used to "borrow" it from work for me. Unfortunately, her company stopped buying the kind I was using, so I guess I'm going to have to break down eventually when my supply runs out and buy one of those big tubes, but hopefully one of those tubes should last quite a while.

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How about the pre-made cuffs that are available in fabric stores? I think they are used for making long sleeve knit shirts.

Or, how about the ribbed fabric used to make sweater-looking jackets or rib knit dresses?

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good idea about the fabric store cuffs etc. i will check tomorrow!

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I have made covers out of lycra (bathing suit fabric) and stretch cotton. I'm a nurse and have made them for my clients and also for myself when I had a PICC line. Both worked well for me!

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Stretchy fabric sounds like a good idea too. Would you tell me how you determined the length of fabric to use? I.e., the arm circumference plus how much? That was the problem I had before -- either too loose or too tight.


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When I had a PICC Line put in last year during Coumadin therapy (I had a bad blood clot after colon surgery in January and they put it in for the frequent blood draws and hydration therapy), I had a very hard time keeping the tubing up. Since I use a manual wheelchair, my arms were constantly being used and the tubing sliped a lot.
One thing that my mom and I found that works good is a tighter piece of the mesh covering for the PICC Lines. We bought several yards of it at a medical supply store for really cheap and just replaced it every couple of days when it would get loose or dirty.
For showering, we used saran wrap and waterproof tape all around the line site. Because I needed help with showering anyway, this was the easiest method for us, because all of the waterproof covers we could find had latex in them (I'm allergic to latex). Eventually, in September, I got a Bard Power Port implanted and this has been wonderful! I can go swimming and shower without covering it up (if its unaccessed). If the port is accessed, we found that waterproof gauze and watertight tape keeps the line completely dry, so I can shower and swim easily. You might want to talk to your doctor about implanted ports if you continue to have troubles with the PICC line.


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i also hated the mesh 'covering' it got caught on things sooo easily...and i also used cut off socks, but those tended to slide and not be very comfortable.
so what i did was to pull out my sewing machine (and i'm just a very beginner on it too!) and i took a long piece of fabric, cut into a rectangular shape, folded it in half and put some stuffing in the center for padding and then sewed it together kind of like a pillow in the center of the band. then i sewed velco strips onto the band. to put it on myself, i found that by using a small piece of tape to just hold one end onto my arm so that i could have some leverage, i was able to pull and wrap tightly around my arm, and by having the velcro it allowed for changes in the circumfirence of my arm. i also found that when i had the band on tightly that the compression took away the pain i got with my PICCs, without causing any sort of occlusion or anything!
i've made two of them, i like the 2nd one i made best, it took a little trial and error, but my thought was that i could make them in any fabric i wanted, from something neutral to flannel (for bedtime). the 2nd one probably took me 30 min to make...the first one maybe an hour to make....so it didn't take too long, wasn't too difficult, is durable, (i've machine washed them many times now) and worked well for me. i've gotten many compliements on it while in the hospital.
i had tried looking up online for some sort of picc line cover/sleeve, but only came up with 2 sites, one was a very large puffy sleeve that seemed more towards the younger child crowded just to keep them from playing with the line, and the 2nd website was a nylon sleeve, but didn't look to provide any protection. the reason i made on in the first place was i needed some sort of padding to protect my site which was my upper left arm on the inner side so it constantly rubbed against my side, and i needed something to protect the sensitive area...who was it that said "nescesity is the mother of all invention"?

if you do not sew, you could probably use fabric glue or the iron on adhesive instead...i used the sticky velcro strips so that i could move them around to get the correct placing, then sewed over them, as the sticky-ness wears off with repeated use.

for the shower to cover my picc lines i first wraped a dishcloth/washcloth, around my arm over the picc so g-d forbid any water did get in, it would be absorbed by the cloth, then i'd wrap plastic around my arm and tape it very very well, then would wrap a second layer around my arm and again tape very very well, i never had a leak, not once. i also found at my local CVS a $5 sleeve/IV/cast "waterproof" cover. i still wrapped with a cloth and one layer of plastic first, then used this sleeve (which is reuseable) and that also worked very well and never leaked! (i am always a bit paranoid with my central lines...especially about infection....especially now since i've had MRSA in my lungs and blood last nov. and in my ankle and knee joints this winter...i am always extremely careful about sterile fields and technique and everything...but no matter how careful you are infection is still always a risk! more so if, like me, you're on other meds that compromise your immune system.

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Hi Carol, When I made the lycra covers, I used the actual measurement of my upper arm and didn't add any extra as the lycra was very stretchy. You may want to experiment with how tight you are comfortable with and also how much stretch the lycra that you are using has. The cheaper fabrics are often thinner and stretchier. If you want any area padded, you could place some soft fabric over that section and then put the cover in place to hold it tight. I secured the cover with a strip of velcro. Feel free to email me if you need any more help! Good luck! Cher

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There is a company that I got some cotton fabric covers. Try http://designforyourlife.com/ I am not sure what they have for males or how big they can make them. They are not that expensive and they had different colors. Good luck

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