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Arterial line question - need answer from those with experience

I really have no experience dealing with arterial lines. 

An ICU nurse asked if A-lines require a heparinized flush bag or if just normal saline can be used. She stated that she had read an article in ACN last year stating they were equivocal. For those of you with this experience what are your thoughts?  The pharmacist that posed the question to me stated the heparin would be 1000 units / 500 ml NS (2 units/ml).

A-Line should be connected

A-Line should be connected to pressurized NS bag. Heparin are no longer used.

Since the A-line has a flush system that allows about 3-5cc per hour continuos flushing from the pressurized bag, Heparin is not needed. Also the continous pressure exerted in the system would not allow a throbus to develop at the distal end of the catheter.

This is true for Adult system. I am not sure what is being used for Pediatric.

In our 3 ICU's we have not used Heparin flushes for A-Line since 1998. 

Rivka Livni PICC RN

Glenda Dennis
This should be addressed in
This should be addressed in policy.  We no longer use heparin in pressurized hemodynamic lines for adults either.
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