flushing picc line / blood flow return

  1. Am new to dealing with PICC lines, have a pt who has a Power PICC and is recieving a 6 week course of antibiotics via PICC line.
    when flushing not always getting blood return.
    should you always be able to aspirate back blood? does this matter if picc line is flushing and infusing normally? if always need to see blood return anyone have some techniques/tricks to try ?
    thanks a million. :wink2:
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    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 1


  3. by   daisydoll
    Are you flushing the PICC line with heparin? Check your hospitals policy on PICC lines to see if/when heparin should be used, the amount, and concentration. At my hospital the line needs to be flushed with heparin QS and after each med administration if it does not have fluids actively running through it. I have encountered this issue many times and I usually flush with heparin and let it sit for at least 15 min then try to draw back again. Usually solves the problem.

    Central lines, however, we are not supposed to flush with heparin, just NS.

    Hope this helps
  4. by   daisydoll

    check out that post for more info on PICC lines
  5. by   Tash4nvyblues
    Ask the patient to take a few deep breaths in, and draw back at the same time, I have never failed to obtain blood using this technique.
  6. by   MoopleRN
    We recently had an inservice about this and we are currently changing our policy. We are now supposed to check for blood return every time we access a port after scrubbing with an alcohol wipe for 15 seconds. If we don't get a blood return, we are to get an order to flush with tpa or cathflo or some equivalent to break the fibrin tail/sheath that may allow infusion but will not allow a blood return. Until that port gets a return, it's to be labeled do not use. So to answer the OP, yes, you should always be able to aspirate blood even if it flushes/infuses ok.