Q&A: PICC line dressing – clean or sterile?

Q: Can you please let me know if a PICC line dressing can be a clean procedure or does it have to be sterile?

A:  First, I will direct you to your organization’s policy and procedure on central vascular access device (CVAD) dressing change procedure to determine the procedure to follow.

If you can’t locate your policy and procedure, then I would recommend looking at the 2011 INS Standards of Practice for Infusion Nursing.  The standard on vascular access device site care and dressing changes states:  A sterile dressing shall be applied and maintained on VADs.  The practice criteria states that “sterile gloves should be worn when performing CVAD site care

In addition, the CDC Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections 2011 under Catheter Site Dressing Regimens:  Use either sterile gauze or sterile transparent semipermeable dressing to cover the catheter site – Category IA

I have listed the websites below where you can find the references I mentioned. Thank you for your question.



!. 2011 INS Standards of Practice http://www.ins1.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3310

2. CDC Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter Related Infections – http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/guidelines/bsi-guidelines-2011.pdf

2 thoughts on “Q&A: PICC line dressing – clean or sterile?

  1. A central line dressing change procedure should be considered an aseptic procedure using sterile dressing supplies (ideally, a kit where all supplies are sterile).
    An Infection Preventionist from CA

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