A travel nurse recommended that I change the needleless hub after I draw blood from a central line. He simply said that the practice decreases the risk of CLABSI. Blood that remains in the hub can harbor bacteria and be introduced into the blood stream with subsequent use. Made sense to me. However, I can't find any research to substantiate this. What do you all know about this?
We're supposed to change them every time we draw blood. But if I'm doing q1-2h blood draws...I'll just change it at the end of my shift. It's tedious and a waste of supplies a lot of the time, IMO.
You'll get conflicting opinions depending on who you ask.
Some will say to flush the catheter with 20mL of saline after drawing your lab using the push pause technique. Changing the cap opens up the system which can also place your patient at risk for infection.
Our facility requires you change the cap and then flush after drawing from a central line.
Post is a few months old, but just wanted to chime in (not an ICU nurse, but do draw from central lines). Our hospital policy requires to change the cap & flush with 20ml NS after each draw. In the med/surg units we are also limited to 2 draws per day from a central line (I believe to reduce CLABSI risk)...more than that requires a doctors order. The units can draw whenever required.
Changing the cap after blood draws isn't supported by evidence or by recommendations, both the INS and CDC recommend changing caps every seven days. There are reports of organizations that have switched from changing caps after blood draws to only every 7 days that have reported reduced CLASBI rates as a result, although these were not controlled studies or large enough to like identify any variation in infection risk. Changing the caps unnecessarily often presents the opportunity to introduce bacteria at the cap/hub connection, without any benefit to offset that risk, so based on the net balance of risks, caps should not be changed after blood draws.
It is important to properly flush not just the cap but the entire line after drawing blood or checking for blood return, which includes the need to push/pause flush particularly for valved/displacement caps and lines.
We change the needleless connector/clave every 7 days. I have never heard of changing it after a blood draw. Our policy for blood cultures, though, if we're drawing off a central line, is to either draw directly from the hub or to put on a new connector and draw through it. Policy is also to change the connector if it has old, visible blood in it.
I think that an adequate flush after drawing is crucial. I've seen some nurses skimp on that. Given the length of the catheter, I think it's very important to flush with at least 10 cc of saline after every draw.
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