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Flushing potentially infected PICC line

Nurses   (568 Views 7 Comments)
by mstal3965 mstal3965 (New Member) New Member

59 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Having a hard time finding guidelines regarding whether to flush - or not to flush - a potentially infected line. Any information?

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

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Why would it even matter? If there is signs of infection or inflammation caused by the PICC, it needs to be pulled. If the PICC line flushes easily, are you going to keep it in?

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59 Visitors; 2 Posts

I was told something about "infectious flushing" - but haven't been able to find any documentation/guidelines about this.

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Asystole RN works as a Vascular Access Specialist.

108 Likes; 24,469 Visitors; 2,081 Posts

8 hours ago, mstal3965 said:

I was told something about "infectious flushing" - but haven't been able to find any documentation/guidelines about this.

There is a thought that if biofilms are developing on the catheter a turbulent flush can potentially knock away planktonic bacteria into the body. This is more of an explanation of the biofilm process and how bacteremias are developed but not really a guideline to follow. 

If there is suspected biofilm that thing needs to get yanked out quick. If you doubt flushing it then get orders to DC. 

Edited by Asystole RN

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

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If you think it could be infected you should notif the MD for further interventions.

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NurseTrishBSN has 15 years experience as a RN and works as a Charge Nurse, Unit Educator, MSN Student.

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If the PICC line is infected, why is it still in?

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36 Likes; 10,223 Visitors; 1,369 Posts

Suspected infected picc lines are not to be used, including flushing. Exception example... If the patient has a fever but no s/sx of infection at picc otherwise, the doc may order a culture off the line as a precaution and opt to keep the line. Then you just use it as usual.

Edited by cleback

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