The implication of the PICC line in Tinubu’s arm

Nigeria’s ‘President-elect’ Bola Tinubu, returned from France with a thin tube suspected to be a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line) on his right arm, confirming he was undergoing medical treatment abroad.

However, barely hours after Tinubu’s return, fresh concerns over his health became the topic of discussion.

What should be a matter of serious concern to Nigerians is the implication of the PICC line in Tinubu’s arm.

This report will feature the implication, the purpose, the duration, the diseases, as well as the medication that involves PICC.

To start with, what is Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line?

A PICC line is one type of catheter used to access the large veins in your chest (central venous catheter).

It is a type of long catheter that is inserted through a peripheral vein, often in the arm, into a larger vein in the body, used when intravenous treatment is required over a long period.

PICC is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the upper arm and guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava.

Although, his Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga insisted the ‘President-elect’ was on vacation in France, SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that Tinubu fell ill after the March 18 governorship and State Assembly elections and was flown to France for medical treatment.

However, despite the denials, SaharaReporters earlier reported that Tinubu’s ailment was so severe that for five days while being hospitalised, he could not speak and had to be intubated.

Where is PICC line inserted?

A PICC line is inserted into a vein in the arm, leg or neck. The tip of the catheter is positioned in a large vein that carries blood into the heart. The PICC line is used for long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications.

Examples of other types of PICC can be see below:

Image 1: PICC inserted through a peripheral vein in the arm

Can you give fluids through a PICC line?

Care teams can use PICC to give chemotherapy and other intravenous (IV) medications, such as antibiotics and blood transfusions, as well as IV fluids.

Why would a patient need a PICC line?

A PICC line is used to deliver medications and other treatments directly to the large central veins near the heart. A doctor might recommend a PICC line if the treatment plan requires frequent needle sticks for medicine or blood draws.

Why use a PICC line instead of an IV?

A PICC line is thicker and more durable than a regular IV. It’s also much longer and goes farther into the vein. Health care providers use a PICC line instead of a regular IV line because it can stay in place longer.

How long can a PICC line stay in?

PICC may have one or two lines (also known as lumens); fluids will go into these lines. The PICC line generally stays in for about a month, but can be left in longer (up to 3 months and sometimes a bit more) if needed and if the patient doesn’t get an infection. Regular checkups with the doctor are very important.

But a report by an online paper(not said contrary to Onanuga’s assertion, Tinubu was hospitalized for days in France and was indeed “intubated.”

Our Correspondent saw what looked like a PICC line on the lower right arm of the former Lagos State Governor just as he was waving to cheers and greetings from supporters.

When contacted, Onanuga claimed not to know what a PICC meant and asked our Correspondent for explanation.

When told what it meant and its usage, he said the question “trash.”

“I hope someone did not give you a photoshopped image. I am in his house now, with him.

“There is nothing on his arm. He is hale and hearty and did not go for any surgery in France.

“Imagination. Fiction,” Onanuga declared.

Minutes later he sent series of messages, saying, “Your imagination. We are at home. Nothing like that.

“But u can go ahead and write your trash as usual.

“We are eating dinner with him. I can’t see what you claim,” he added.

Tinubu faced questions over his health during the presidential election campaign with several direct calls for him to declare his health status.

This was after several foreign trips where he was reported to have sought medical treatments for undisclosed ailments that required weeks of hospitalisations.

He ignored those calls and went on to win the presidential election that was held on February 25, although the election is a subject of disputes in court.

What medication is used to unclog a PICC line?

Cathflo® Activase® (alteplase) is indicated for the restoration of function to central venous access devices as assessed by the ability to withdraw blood.


The summation of the Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) on Tinubu is that the president-elect of the February 25, 2023, presidential election, an old man, is heavily medically challenged.

With the pressures and wears and tears from the office of the president of the most populous Black country in Africa, Nigerians will have to wait to see the outcome of the PICC on the man — Tinubu.

According to some medical experts, PICC is used to deliver medications and other treatments directly to the large central veins near your heart.

“Your doctor might recommend a PICC line if your treatment plan requires frequent needle sticks for medicine or blood draws,” Dr Gerald Okoye