Flushing Your IV Access

There are many different protocols for flushing your IV access and this depends on several factors. What type of line do you have (PICC line, port, peripheral line?) How are you using your line – continuously or intermittently? Is it one lumen or two? What type of catheter is it? What solutions does your doctor want you to use – saline alone or saline and heparin? Following are general guidelines for flushing – for more specific information, please consult your healthcare provider.

Infuserve America provides prefilled saline and heparin flushes for your convenience. They are ready to use; the solution is already in the syringe.

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. flushing-iv-access-001Gather your supplies.This should include alcohol wipes and your flushes.
  3. flushing-iv-access-002Vigorously wipe the end of your connector attached to your line with an alcohol prep.
  4. flushing-iv-access-003Take the syringe out of the outer plastic bag and remove the cap. Very Important: The end of the syringe must not touch anything else once the cap is removed! (The end of the syringe must remain sterile.)
  5. flushing-iv-access-007The syringe may have a little air bubble in it. By holding the syringe upright with the plunger at the bottom you can gently push up on the plunger and until the air bubble is gone and you see a drop of the solution come out the tip.
  1. flushing-iv-access-005Attach the syringe to your connector at the end of your line. Do this by holding the connector in one hand, and twisting the syringe on, so it does not come off. You will need to exert some pressure to twist it on. The syringe should stay attached to your line when you let go.
  2. flushing-iv-access-006Exert pressure on the plunger of the syringe to flush your line. The fluid should empty into your line with only slight pressure. Should you feel significant resistance and are not able to flush, contact your Healthcare Provider.
  3. These syringes are one-time use only. You should not re-use a syringe as this will not maintain sterility.

If you are infusing a medication, you will connect the end of your tubing in the same way you attached the flush syringe – it will twist on. Be sure to wipe your connector vigorously with an alcohol prep before connecting!

You will always precede and follow medication with a saline flush. Heparin is used in some cases to maintain the patency of your line (keep your line open.) This would be used after the second saline. There is an acronym to help you remember: SASH

Saline, Additive (the medication), Saline, Heparin

Please see the next page for instruction regarding your Swab Cap, a device that prevents infection!