I am an IV certified LVN and I often flush the line when IV anibiotics are done.
The other day, I was asked to flush a resident's PICC. I disconnected the tubing and proceeded to flush. To my dismay, it would not go! With much huffing and puffing, I managed to push in all the saline in the syringe. I was worried about it and meant to ask the RN but got distracted with something else...
How is it possible that the PICC line, where the medication was dripping just fine, has so much resistance when flushing? Or could it be that I was doing something incorrectly? Is it even safe to push that hard?
In case you're thinking it, of course I made sure that it was not clamped.
Quote from babieface_7
I agree with zookeeper. It is dangeorous to force the picc line. Ive heard of someone having a cva because of that and was sued. babieface_7
Doubtful that a clot from a PICC (venous system) would cause a CVA; not unless there was a right to left shift through either an atrial or ventricular septal defect. A venous system embolus would usually stop in the lung as a pulmonary embolus.
But the sentiment is well taken. Applying high injection pressure (other than for the already mention cardiac output measurement) to any line is generally a bad idea. If the usual bedside maneuvers don't work (turn head to opposite side, abduct and externally rotate arm with PICC) then it likely needs to be declotted.
Last edit by Emergency RN on Apr 23, '10