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Van Mechelen K, Mahieu L. A new technique for difficult removal of a peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) in a neonate [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 31]. Eur J Pediatr. 2020;10.1007/s00431-020-03797-z. doi:10.1007/s00431-020-03797-z

In general, the removal of peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC) in neonates by gentle traction is easy. In our case, the removal of a 28G PICC in a term neonate was impossible by manual traction even with force. Previously described non-invasive interventions using a stylet were not successful because it was not possible to pass the stylet along the catheter hub of the narrow 28G PICC. In the end, the catheter could be removed non-operatively by cutting the catheter just distal to the hub and inserting a stylet of a new PICC (same brand and size) into the patients’ retained catheter. Subsequently, the force of manual traction on the catheter could be increased without increased risk of catheter stretching and breakage. After catheter removal, the surface of the remaining PICC was intact.Conclusion: By thinking outside the box, surgical intervention was prevented in this neonate. What is Known: • On general, peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC) can be removed easily by gentle traction. • There are no clear recommendations about what to do if standard interventions fail to remove a PICC. What is New: • Our technique is a non-invasive option for difficult PICC removal and can prevent surgery. • The retained PICC is cut distal to the hub, and after stylet reinsertion, sustained manual traction is performed.

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