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Reusing IV Flushes on Same Patient

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by LRNSTUDENT LRNSTUDENT (New) New Student

Hello everyone,

I noticed while doing my clinicals that many nurses reuse the same flush when administering medication via IV push rather than use a separate flush. For example, they will grab a 10mL saline flush and only use 5 mL to flush the line, proceed to administer the medication and then use the remaining 5 mL to flush all of the medication into the patient. Is this a safe practice? If not, what is the rationale against it? I'm genuinely curious seeing as how clinicals are starting again soon and the last thing I want is to give my patients an infection or put them in harm in any way. I look forward to the replies and thank you in advance!

Gross. You can't really keep the tip of the syringe sterile doing that.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Just wondering if the facilities were having any problems acquiring sufficient quantity of supplies so they 'wasted not, wanted not'!!

The final word should be coming from their IV P&P, or from acknowledged experts in the field.

Edited by amoLucia

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

That's weird. I don't think it would be a huge infection risk, if they are somehow holding the 5ml without letting it touch anything, but it would still be safer to use a new syringe to flush after the med. It doesn't seem to save time so I'm wondering what the rationale is. Hopefully not a supply shortage!

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

2018: Saline Shortages — Many Causes, No Simple Solution | NEJM

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1800347

5/2019: B. Braun invests $1B in IV fluid manufacturing to alleviate shortages

https://www.medtechdive.com/news/b-braun-invests-1b-in-iv-fluid-manufacturing-to-alleviate-shortages/554855/

8/2020 FDA Drug Shortages -Sodium Chloride still on the list https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/dsp_SearchResults.cfm