Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Picc line not drawing blood for 3 cycles but still in use

Hello, sorry i seem to be asking lots of questions lately but the truth is ive got a lot going on and feel like im drowning in the cancer well. Anyway, I’d appreciate any help with this question which is that my picc line hasn’t drew blood back for 6 weeks but flushes and so is still being used for treatment and i wondered if that was normal? They tried to put a drug into it but that didn’t work either. Blood currently taken out via cannula which has been horrendous as my veins are not great


Hi @Wren17, when my husband has his PICC flush, they keep going until they draw some blood. He has it done every week, so I am not sure why your nursing team does not do this? Are you having the PICC flush done with the district nurses or do you have it done at the hospital? We always have it done at the hospital. My husband also has trouble with his veins but they still take blood from his veins every two weeks. Today is the day! I will ask if it is necessary to draw blood from the PICC line and see what they say! Hope you get some more info soon! Best of luck to you, :x::x::x:


Hi @Wren17, I often had problems with my picc line flushing but not drawing and was told it was probably sitting too close to the vein wall. At the hospital they would get me to cough and move about until it worked, but when it happened with the district nurse she just left it and said as it flushed it was ok - the hospital nurses were mortified at this!! Either way I never had any follow on problems. P :x::x::x:


Hi @Wren17

I don’t have a PICC but have a portacath. It can act up on pre chemo blood day and refuse to give blood but seems to work two days later for chemo. I believe the nurses are not very happy to administer chemo if it’s not drawing blood and on two occasions, I had a lineogram done at X-ray to check it was in correct place. I’m not too sure if this is done for a PICC though. Perhaps it’s time for the PICC to be replaced if after 6 weeks it’s still not drawing blood?



Hi @Wren17 I had the same problems as @Polly68 as long as they can flush the line they did not seem to worried. So I would not worry too much.

Polly 1

@Wren17 my hubby occassionally has this happen with both the chemo nurses and district nurses. The first time it happened with the district nurse we contacted the chemo unit before she left to check it was OK to leave.

They always say as long as there is no resistance when they put the flush through it is OK to carry on with chemo or during the weekly flush of the PICC line.

His line was never used for the fortnightly blood tests.


Hello all @LynneW, @Polly68 , @Baxter2 , @steve1 and @Polly1- thank you for your replies. I’ve just had a line flush in prep for chemo tomorrow and still no blood. The nurses here try twice once to draw blood then again once more after flush and they do not seem to worry that it has not been drawing blood these last six weeks. They say as long as it flushes its okay. I did say it had come out a fair bit and so wondered if it was still in right place but said it was still within the 14cm tolerance and so told me not to worry which is easier said than done particularly as this is my third picc line in a year (the others had to be removed as they also got blocked but were only taken off and replaced once I they had come out over 14cm). Hopefully i can stop worrying about it :x::x:


@Wren17 I'm glad they've put your mind at rest. At my hospital they only give an 8cm leeway for the line, mine came out by 6cm and that was a big enough pain whenever they cleaned it - it was on my muscle which just kept pushing it out! The nurses did say that new training meant they could push it back in up to a cm if it moved during cleaning. P :x::x:


Hi@Polly68, thanks for your reply. Mine is currently out by 9cm but they wont touch it until its 14cm. Seems different hospitals have different criteria but I suppose as long as they say it’s ok i should be fine :x::x: