Arterial lines-kids


  • Specializes in pediatrics/PICU. Has 13 years experience.

I am a PICU educator that is looking for info on arterial lines-pressure bag vs pump. We have a dr that insists on pumps because she says we are clotting off lines with the pressure bags. (I have not heard about the clotting off part; I think she had one clot and blamed the nurse.) Thanks for any help you can provide! Sherri:cheers:

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

I work with adults and we have pressure bags and the lines rarely clot off. I have never seen a pump with arterial lines.

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 37 years experience.

Coming from the NICU, I have never used anything other than a pump with an arterial line, either umbilical art. lines or peripheral art lines. Never had any problems with clotting, either. Fluid is heparinized with 1/2-1 unit/cc.


2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

I believe the only reason we use pumps on our A-Lines and umbilical lines is so we can carefully control the fluid load on the baby. (1cc/hr can make a HUGE difference when you're 350 grams and your total blood volume is 30cc's)

If I'm remembering correctly, most pressure bags connected to transducers run at a default flow of 2cc/hr.

Clotted lines are probably related more to adequate line clearing/flushing with heparinized saline than flow rate.

Specializes in Pediatrics (Burn ICU, CVICU).

I have always seen pumps used on neonates and cardiac babies, because 1-2mls of fluid/hr can really make a difference in these kids.

I've always seen pressure bags with adults, because a few mls/hr isn't AS big of a deal.


476 Posts

Specializes in Peds Critical Care, Dialysis, General.

We use syringe pumps for all our arterial lines and CVP monitor lines, both in our Peds CVICU & Peds ICU.


14 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics/PICU. Has 13 years experience.

Thanks! I think you're right; we need to adequately flush lines. Probably need a quick reminder inservice.

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