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Christine Thomas
3 way stopcocks

I am finding that the use of stopcocks vary thoughout a hospital system and even in the same hospital.  I am concerned that that we are not changing these properly or shouldn't be using them at all.

I understand that ICU's do use them quite a bit .


One practice that I recently was made aware of was that nurses will connect a syringe to the end of one of the stopcock ports and leave it there until she needs to access it again.  Almost using it as a large cap.  Does anyone remember an article on studies of the stopcocks and are there truly any standards or guidelines on the use of these stopcocks.  I know I read something about prolonged use.


Thanks for any input.


Chris Thomas