"Scrub the Hub" means... ?

  1. 0
    After 2 years working in an ICU, I have just changed to a job in an outpatient dialysis center.

    The care provided to the central lines in this center is very different from what I learned in the ICU...

    "Scrub the Hub" is a huge campaign against CVC infections and the like, so could anyone answer me this...?

    The "hub" is... the cap on the end of the line (which is what they scrub at the dialysis center) or the portion of the end that interlocks with syringes and the like that is covered by the cap on the end of the line (which is the portion that I maintain is the "hub" which needs scrubbed!)

    Any input greatly appreciated!!!
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  4. 16 Comments so far...

  5. 12
    I'm guessing they really mean the cap, but "scrub the hub" is a lot catchier than "decrap the cap".
  6. 0
    I am not convinced my first attempt fully explained which portions I meant on the end of the line. Here is a picture I found:


    Scrub the clear cap only, or remove the clear cap and scrub the blue hub?

    Again, thanks.
  7. 1
    Has to be the blue hub. What's the point of scrubbing the outside of the cap?
    PurpleLVN likes this.
  8. 2
    Hi, I'm a near-grad student in CA w/ lots of time in ICU w/ PICC and central lines-- so grain of salt, but here goes:

    The hub IS the part that the syringe attaches to, at my hosp they have a blue core w/ a clear port around it. If there's a cap in the way of the syringe you're attaching, get it out of there before scrubbing-- you are disinfecting the part that the syringe attaches to.

    Scrub the hub means: stick an alcohol wipe in your fingers, grab the hub that you will attach a syringe to, and squeeze back and forth as though you're juicing an orange: the orange being the alcohol. You do this back and forth either 30 times or for 15 seconds, depending on what research your facility prefers to use. I think of it like scrubbing people's skin w/ chlorhexadine in the OR: you are essentially sterilizing the area both w/ the alcohol, but mostly w/ the friction you create. Central line infections are being taken down to nil with this practice!

    Incidentally, the research shows that there are far fewer infections via PICC's when pts are caring for them at home than there are in the hospital: this says to us that having fewer hands on a PICC keeps infections down, as does thorough hand hygiene/gloving when approaching a PICC, and ALSO being the person attached to the PICC, meaning you will take the whole 15 seconds to 'scrub the hub' because well: it's your health.
    3rdcareerRN and Crux1024 like this.
  9. 0
    You would remove the cap and scrub the part that you screw the syringe into... Or whatever you are connecting to the line. Then at the end of the dialysis treatment I would think you would get a new sterile cap.
  10. 0
    Quote from Dialysis R.N. in IA
    I am not convinced my first attempt fully explained which portions I meant on the end of the line. Here is a picture I found:


    Scrub the clear cap only, or remove the clear cap and scrub the blue hub?

    Again, thanks.


    We actually use this slogan where I work, mainly intended for PICC lines but important for all IV's. In the picture you showed it is missing a piece, there is actually a port or hub that is attached when you remove the clear cap. The IV line or flush or whatever your injecting is attached to this hub. I can't find a good picture of it but I hope my explanation helped.
  11. 0
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You all agree that the current practice of scrubbing the outside of the cap prior to removing that piece, but then not scrubbing the actual line hub is not proper technique.

    Now if I can just find that in easy-to-understand terms from a policy or practice journal so that I can go about helping my coworkers stop the horrible infection rate our patients with central lines are experiencing...
  12. 0
    Want some research? This slogan was used at my Hosp:

    "SAVE that line!"
    Scrupulous hand hygiene before and after contact with all vascular access devices and prior to insertion.

    Aspetic technique during catheter insertion and care

    Vigorous friction to hubs. Vigorous friction with alcohol wherever you make or break a connection to give medications, flush, change tubing or access injection port or add on device.

    Ensure Patency- flush all lumens with adequate amount of saline or heparinized saline to maintain patency per institution policy.


    from this site w/ plenty of other goodies: http://www.maximusmedical.com/understanding_bsi.html

    My hosp had a core PICC resource team of about 4 RN's who did audits, posted colorful posters w/ slogans like the one above, etc. Might be a worthwhile in-service, or a 5 minute PSA at your next staff meeting? It's actually such a simple practice it's sort of silly to give it too much time. Good luck!
  13. 0
    Scrub the hub means cleaning the end of the injection cap (whatever kind it may be) for 30 seconds like a juicer, as a poster mentioned earlier.

    Injection caps are removable and are the number 1 source of Catheter Related Blood Stream Infections (CRBSI), as shown in many experts studies.

    Not scrubbing the cap, or failure to scrub it properly, and failure to change it on a routine basis, ie.. every 7days for a central line, causes major infections as all kind of organisms are waiting to jump onto the vascular system.

    Is the picture you attached what your current employer uses on the catheter's end? Or, is there a cap with threads on it where the barrel of the syringe attachs too?


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