Flushing an IV Line

Document created by tfreiberg Employee on Dec 27, 2016Last modified by tfreiberg Employee on Feb 7, 2017
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Purpose


Flushing of an IV line assures the line is open and usable.    

 

Supplies you will need


  • Alcohol swab
  • Gloves
  • 1 syringe containing __________ mL Heparin solution or
  • 1 syringe containing __________ mL Normal Saline
  • Puncture resistant container

 

What to do


  1. Wash hands. Explain to the patient what you are going to do.
  2. Put on gloves.
  3. Cleanse the catheter end with the alcohol swab.
  4. Attach the solution syringe directly to the cleaned end and aspirate (pull back on the plunger) slightly. You may see blood in the tubing. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.
  5. Inject the solution slowly to flush the line.
  6. Check patient to ensure no pain on flushing.
  7. Check for swelling at needle site when flushing.
  8. Remove the syringe while still pushing plunger to ensure positive pressure (to create a seal). Keeping pressure on the plunger prevents backup of blood into the catheter. If there is a clamp on the line, clamp off the line before removing the syringe.
  9. Dispose syringe in a puncture resistant container.
  10. If ordered, connect heparin syringe and flush catheter.  Remember to push plunger while detaching syringe to create a seal.  If there is a clamp on the line, clamp off the line before removing the syringe.
  11. Dispose syringe in a puncture resistant container.
  12. Remove gloves.
  13. Wash hands.

 

Special instructions


If resistance is met, device should not be flushed. Call the nurse.

 

Additional instructions from your team


Call the nurse with any signs of infection such as fever or redness at the IV site.


Adapted from: The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice (10th ed.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.
 

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