what is heparin used for?

  1. What is heparin used for in preemies?
  2. Visit pleadingmom profile page

    About pleadingmom

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 8

    7 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    Quote from pleadingmom
    What is heparin used for in preemies?
    Heparin is a medication that prevents blood from clotting. In the adult population, it is used as an anticoagulant and given in much higher doses than it is in the neonatal population.

    In the NICU, it is only used for one thing - to keep IV lines from clotting. We use PICC/PCVC lines and umbilical lines in these babies that are as thin as dental floss. Becuase the inside of the line is so tiny, we need to make sure it doesn't clot off with blood so that the IV nutrition and medications can get to the baby. All the heparin basically does is "hang out" in the IV line. It is not a high enough dose to be therapeutic - meaning it's not high enough to change the baby's bleeding times and things like it would do for an adult recieving very high doses.
  4. by   pleadingmom
    Thanks for the info, what would happen if baby received to much?
  5. by   Gompers
    Quote from pleadingmom
    Thanks for the info, what would happen if baby received to much?
    You know, it's starting to feel like you're asking for medical and/or legal advice about something that happened to one of your babies when he/she was in the NICU. I'm really not sure I want to get into this.

    Maybe you could provide more information on why you are interested in this topic?
  6. by   pleadingmom
    I am not just interested in this topic, I am interested in any topic when it comes to my kids, does not matter what it is, could be school related, freind related or just if they are having a bad day. I know that there was heparin found in her blood, but I am sure that this did not cause her problems, I was just interested, not looking for legal advise.
  7. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from pleadingmom
    I am not just interested in this topic, I am interested in any topic when it comes to my kids, does not matter what it is, could be school related, freind related or just if they are having a bad day. I know that there was heparin found in her blood, but I am sure that this did not cause her problems, I was just interested, not looking for legal advise.
    But we can't give any kind of medical advice.

    Heparin is used like Gompers already stated. The heparin is mixed in with the TPN, so it's a set amount based on the baby's weight.

    The only time I see heparin used that has doses high enough to affect the blood clotting factors is in an ECMO circuit.
  8. by   prmenrs
    I agree w/the information that Gompers and Raindreamer provided.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Google search of "heparin and premature infants" will provide you with information.....The best person to discuss and advise you regarding why heparin was given to your child, doseage given or questions regarding it's use in preemies is the neonatologist who cared for your child.

close