Aspirating with IV pushes.

Students General Students


The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who graduated last year about school. Well, during the course of the conversation, I mentioned that I forgot to aspirate when flushing with NS before giving an IV push, and the instructor didn't call me on it, although I did aspirate with all the other flushes. My friend told me that you don't aspirate when flushing with pushes. Now, I know that this is probably a preference thing, but this year I was taught to aspirate with a flush to check the patency of the line. I have also seen other nurses do this, so I know that this practice is out there in existance. I am just curious as to how many other students or nurses have heard of this practice.:)


415 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I was taught that way too!

I don't recall being taught to aspirate. I just flush with NS first to make sure it doesn't hurt or infiltrate. Sometimes you can have a good INT/Hep lock that will flush and pass IV meds just fine, without a blood return.


139 Posts

I wasn't taught to aspirate either on saline flushes because you are just checking the patency of the line. Interesting though? Why would you aspirate?

I can see where aspirating would also check for patency. But like I said before, flushing with NS is how I do it because sometimes it WILL flush even without blood return, yet still be a good site.


142 Posts

I was never taught to aspirate prior to flushing either. I will do so on occasion, if the site looks questionable.

I also have seen many sites that are patent but give no blood return.

Specializes in Behavioral Health.

We weren't taught to aspirate either...the only place I've seen it done is in the outpatient chemo center when they are pushing vesicants. Even then, the chemo nurse told me to only aspirate every so often because it puts too much stress on the veins....

Have a great weekend

Specializes in Behavioral Health.

FYI...out of curiosity, I just looked in my I.V. Therapy book...and when it listed the step-by-step instructions for IV Pushes it doesn't specify to aspirate either....

There are so many different schools of thought out there that it makes me crazy sometimes!!!!:uhoh3:


37 Posts

I was never taught to aspirate either. Like others have said, you can have a great site but get no blood return. So it's really not a good indicator of a patent site. It seems like an extra step that you don't need to do. If I have trouble pushing the saline in then I try to aspirate but not routinely.


408 Posts

I have seen some nurses aspirate before a flush. Our school doesn't require us to do it.


586 Posts

Interesting replies, guys. Thanks. I believe that we were told to check the patency to make sure the cannula is still in the vein (however, I learned this waaaayyyy back in September, so I could be wrong). However, what you guys are saying about the good sites not necessarily having blood return makes sense, as well. Thanks once again.


1,250 Posts

When this question came up, our instructor told us not to aspirate. The reasoning behind it was that, because it is a "closed system", aspirating could compromise the vein. The only time you would aspirate is when you have difficulty flushing and then you very gently aspirate just enough to see if the line is patent.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X