Arterial Line Tubing

  1. Hello! I need some help on arterial line tubing. Currently in our MICU, to draw labs off our a-lines, we have to open up the system to draw blood. When I was a student in another state, the ICU I trained at had a-line tubing that when you needed to draw labs...you would pull back on this little container, and the "wasted" blood would fill in this container...then further up the tubing (closer to the patient) there was a port that you would swab with alcohol and were able to draw the blood from there. Then you would "push" the wasted blood back into the patient. No need to throw away the wasted blood...and the system was never opened...better for infection control.

    Anyone use this type of tubing?? I think it would be great for our unit to use this...no need to waste so much blood when drawing labs, and not opening up the system to possible infection. I don't know anyone at that old hospital that I can contact and ask about the name or type of tubing this was. Maybe someone here can help me??? Thank you so much!!
  2. Visit ElizabethJRN profile page

    About ElizabethJRN

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 111; Likes: 20
    RN
    Specialty: MICU, CCRN

    16 Comments

  3. by   Bronx1560
    In my hospital we use this aline tubing U described with the port. However, when we get transfers from other hospitals they come with the aline setup U have to open the system, but its open with quick, clean ease. Flush, pull back, open, place syringe (make sure U have a chux), get sample, close, & flush. Its about 1min long. I will say the are using hte transducer for CVP set up & not a line setup. We use 2 different tubings for CVP & Aline ( this one has the port with attached syringe for wasting).

    Then we change to our system. I think it just depends on what facility U work in & what type of a line setup they have.
  4. by   CritterLover
    you are talking about vamp tubing.

    [color=#483d8b]for the life of me, i can't remember what the initials stand for (v/a are venous/arterial, but i can't remember the m/p). i tried to look it up, but for some reason i can't access our policies from home tonight. however, it is a type of pressure tubing. it can be used with cvp lines, too, to make blood draws convenient (and truly "needleless").
  5. by   TNNurse92
    Another name for the tubing you describe is a safeset by Abbott.
  6. by   incublissRN
  7. by   ElizabethJRN
    Thank you! That link is exactly the tubing I was refering to. When I was researching on the web looking for this tubing, I just found research articles on the benefits about this tubing...and it mentioned that they use heparinized saline in the tubing...is this correct...and are there any negative effects to the patients? Say, if they have a high INR, etc. Just trying to cover all my bases when I bring this up to my unit!
  8. by   Bronx1560
    This isn't the tubing I use in my hospital. there's another band of a line tubing with the same concept.

    But what's important is how U work with the one U got to make it safe for the patient & keep it clean, bubble free as possible.
  9. by   jethrobodine
  10. by   incublissRN
    Our solution is 2 units heparin/mL, I believe, and it flushes 3 mL/hr. Patients come back from surgery with heparinized saline and we change it to normal saline POD 1.
  11. by   GregRN
    Elizabeth,

    You can still have a closed system a-line even in one that needs to be opened up for blood draws. I wish I had the luxury of some visuals here, but alas I will have to rely on only my writing skills to give you the picture. I'll apologize in advance for that.

    I'm guessing your current system has, from patient to monitor: the catheter in the artery, the line attached to that, a long line going to the transducer, then some tubing going to the pressure bad and another cable going to the monitor. In the middle of that long tubing that connects to the patient is usually a shorter piece of connector tubing with a three-way port/stopcock. Is this correct? Is this your current system?
  12. by   ElizabethJRN
    Yes, that's our current system. In order to draw blood, we take the cap off the port, and then use a syringe to draw waste, and then to draw the blood. It works, but the tubing that I have worked with in the past was great! No waste, no opening of system.
  13. by   GregRN
    Okay. So, on this system, in addition to the port with the three-way stopcock, there is another port at the transducer, correct? And this port also has a three-way stopcock and is usually capped off. This means you have two ports on the system: one closer to the patient and one at the transducer. To avoid confusion, I'll call one port the "transducer port" and the other one the "patient port."

    Now, instead of capping off the port at the transducer, put a 10cc syringe on that port. Turn that stopcock off to the transducer, draw back on the syringe until the blood from the a-line goes PAST the "patient port." Draw back enough blood so that the tubing is filled with blood but doesn't quite reach the transducer port. The blood that goes past the patient port will be considered your "waste" blood. When you have your "waste", turn the transducer stopcock back to neutral. Now, attach your syringe for lab draws on the patient port and turn this stopcock also off to the transducer. This will allow the blood from the artery to enter the syringe. Once the syringe is filled, turn that stopcock back to neutral. Go back to the transducer stopcock, turn it off to the transducer again, flush the 10cc transducer syringe with the NS that you originally drew back, and then turn that stopcock to neutral again. Now, flush the line until the waste blood and the entire line is clear. Turn the patient port stopcock off to the patient, flush that little bit of blood that sits in the port where you drew the labs (have a CHUX or ABD under it to collect the fluid), turn it back to neutral and you're done.

    Did I explain this okay? It's hard to explain without showing someone at the same time. But, at least with this system, you don't truly waste any blood, as whatever you don't use is returned to the patient without ever actually leaving the system. And, it's as closed as possible aside from the port that is open for lab you draw.
  14. by   ElizabethJRN
    Yes, I understand what you are saying, unfortunately there is only one transducer/stop cock in this whole setup. It would just be great if my unit started using the VAMP tubing

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