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Blanching with IV flushing

On occasion I have placed an IV, received a brisk blood return but noticed very obvious blanching when flushing the line. The line appears to be patent and flushes without difficulty and blanching disappears. I have been asked by other nurses why this happens and if they should remove and restart the line. Does any one have any explanation for this?

 I think you are flushing too

 I think you are flushing too fast, blocking all the blood from that vein. What size catheter is being used when you see this? Is the site in the hand or wrist? Large catheter, smaller veins means this is possible. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

possible arterial puncture

I have seen this with an arterial puncture. It's the same thing that happens when you flush an arterial line and sometimes the fingers will blanch for a second or two.

Just a possbility and something to think about.


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