Drawing blood from central lines - page 2

After several years working in the ER, I am relatively new to critical care. I have a question regarding drawing labs from central lines. Several nurses I work with now like to draw labs in the... Read More

  1. by   BelgianRN
    No not once or twice but if you draw blood every 4 - 6 hours (which is about the standard for nearly all my ICU patients) and do this for 10+ days or even longer. And the patients have increased breakdown of their RBC's due to the critical illness and on top of that generally have decreased manufacturing for the same reason it can become a significant waste if you discard it every time. The effects are still noticeable even if you limit the amount of waste to 5 ml or even less.

    But I'm going to try out MegNeoNurse's way of first giving 5 ml of NS to flush the line so hopefully I'll need less waste in that case.
  2. by   brainkandy87
    Ah, good point I guess. I'd still just be so hesitant to return a 20 ml syringe of blood into a pt, even if they were heparinized. I mean, at most I'm wasting 120 ml a day, but in reality you don't need to waste more than 10 ml for a central line, so you're wasting 60 ml/d at most. I'd take the loss over the risk of tossing clotted blood back into a pt. But then again, every situation/pt is different.