When to flush


So I know you flush before and after giving a med if nothing's running and you pause the pump, clamp, flush, give med, and flush again if what you're giving is incompatible with what's runnjng. But do I need to pause it and flush before if there's compatible meds or fluids runnjng? I have just been doing that with everything lol because I worry about that.

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

bless your heart you have ask same question almost three times in 3 mins.......some of us better respond :) yes you flush prior to giving say antibiotic drip, to ensure line is patent, and yoy would flush at the end for all the reasons you mentioned.


129 Posts

Oh gosh lol sorry. Just trying to get stuff straight. Thanks for the response

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

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

If you have a secondary or an IV push medication that is compatable with your primary IVF...you do not need to flush. What you do or not do may also depend on what point you are entering the system and how rapidly you want the patient to receive the medication. If you are hanging a secondary above the pump level you may need to backprime if the abx or other IV meds are incompatible with EACH OTHER but NOT the primary. If you are entering at a Y site or using a stopcock even if they are compatable with the primary sometimes I still will flush with saline. ..give my push med and my flush at same rate..that way I can more precisely control the rate of administration and be assured that the pt got the medication. I have seen many nurses push Dilantin into the IV tubing and then slam a flush in..not realizing they just pushed the Dilantin that was sitting in the IV tubing in too fast. You need to consider the rate of the flush after instilling medications at Y sites.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

You can also push a med into a y site, then if the pump is running slowly, the med in the tubing will go in over five minutes or so, but you don't have to stand there holding the syringe. Slow push for the fast moving nurse.


129 Posts

Canoehead, at what rate are you considering slow? I'm wondering if I could save time with my antibiotics that are supposed to be given over 3-5 minutes. Most of my patients have had rates of 75-100