Non-compatible meds w/double lumen

Nurses General Nursing


Stupid question. Say pt has double lumen and recieving a continuous medication with NS and needs another med given on top of that But those two aren't compatible so you cant run them together, which I understand. What i dont get is why you can run them in separate lumens at the same time when in the end arent they mixing in the main catheter together anyways?

It is done regularly.

The idea is that the outlet of each lumen is sufficiently spaced, and sits in a large, high flow vein.

Next time one gets pulled, have a look.

Double lumen what? PICC, CVC, Port, PIV or extension tube? It makes a difference. The first three are true double lumen lines. There is in existence double lumen PIV catheters (Twincath). The last is simply a split extension set so not a true double lumen. Tell us what you are referring to so we can help you.

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

Double lumens are separate within the central line and they exit at different points so the medications are not mixing together.


Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion.

There are many different catheter configurations on multi lumen CVADs. Most percutaneously placed CVADs used for acute needs have a staggered tip design so the distal,medial and proximal tubing exit a few mms apart.All multi lumen CVADs,including PICCs have separate lumens the entire length of the no worry that front.Multi lumen PICCs do not have staggered distal ends but you have to think about where all tips should end and that is optimally in the SVC..or IVF in case of a femerol.The blood flow rate into that vessel is large and so all meds mix rapidly.

Your question is stupid... because there are NO STUPID QUESTIONS!

It took me waaaay to long as a new nurse, and several years experienced nurse, to learn this.

I finally started asking my "stupid questions" of fellow nurses and doctors, only to hear them say they're not sure either, or no one really understands the how or why of that.

Or they liked me asking because they, (as most health care providers) love to teach and share their knowledge.

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