Abstract:Purpose. Peripherally-inserted central catheters (PICCs) are successfully increasingly used in children in onco-hematologic setting. PICC insertion, especially in oncologic patients, can be associated with adverse events (thrombosis, obstruction and infections). Data regarding the use of PICC, as long-term access in pediatric patients with severe hematologic diseases, are still limited. Methods. We retrospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy of 218 PICC, inserted in 154 pediatric patients diagnosed and treated at Pediatric Hematology Unit, Sapienza University of Rome, for severe hematologic disease in a 11-year period (98 acute lymphoblastic leukemias, 20 acute myeloid leukemias, 20 Hodgkin lymphomas, 6 non-Hodgkin lymphomas, 8 severe aplastic anemias, 2 acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenias). Results. The 218 PICC analyzed were in situ for a median dwell time of 160 days (range 12–898). In 38 children, PICC was inserted twice and in 10, three times or more due to hematopoietic stem cell transplant, disease recurrence or PICC-related complications. The overall complication rate was 32%: central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) occurred in 21% of cases after a median time of 105 days; a catheter-related thrombosis (CRT) in 3% and mechanical complications in 8% of cases. Premature removal for complications occurred in 36.7% of PICC. No death related to PICC complications was observed. Conclusion. In our experience, PICC was a cheap, safe and reliable device for long-term intravenous access in children with severe hematologic illnesses. This has been possible with the help of dedicated PICC team.