Heparin flush


I watched a nurse flush a PICC with heparin and then hook up antibiotics. What is the point in that? Isn't the flush supposed to be given when nothing else is running to prevent clots?


129 Posts


iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

If she flushed it with a Heparin flush and then hooked up an antibiotic to administer in the same lumen...you are correct...it's not needed. If it was a flush for a separate lumen that they were leaving locked off then that is OK.I suspect it is the former and therefore not necessary and a waste.


1,049 Posts

Specializes in Vascular Access. Has 32 years experience.

Not only is this an IMPROPER way to flush the IV catheters, but Heparin Flush, with its various concentrations, should always be used after the second Saline flush to "lock" the IV catheter. Remember that there are many incompatibilities with heparin solution, and one should not flush the lumen and then immediately hook up an IVAB to it. The reason why one flushes the lumen with Heparin flush is to prevent fibrin build-up and should be done at the end of the procedure/infusion.