Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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PICC line

28 January, 2016

Question:

I have a serious infection and am receiving IV antibiotics through a PICC line for 2–3 months.
What to do about mikva?
Removing it and putting in again involves a whole medical procedure, a lot of pain, and a big hassle.
There are also risks of infection, blood clots, etc.. And I have very difficult veins so it is not easy to put in again.
Is there any other option?
I am supposed to go to the mikva in a week (I did hefsek tahara today).


Answer:

Once the PICC line is in and will remain in place for several months, since it is clearly something that you want on your body and it is difficult to remove/replace it, you are halachically permitted to immerse with it.

Often, the PICC is held in place with adhesive 'wings' that are changed regularly by a nurse. It is preferable to remove the wings before immersing. If that is not possible, you may immerse with the wings (taking care to clean around them) but should not have the wings changed until seven days after immersion.

Unfortunately, immersion with a PICC line can present medical problems for some patients. Please ask your physician directly whether a single brief immersion in clean, chlorinated water would be acceptable, and how it could be handled. You may wish to refer to our article on Mikveh Immersion in the Immunocompromised Host on our website and app for medical professionals.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

Refuah Shleimah!


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