I was told that we always have to flush the catheter lumen first before drawing blood. What's the rationale for that? We always discard the first draw except for blood culture. So if the lumen is not patent, surely we won't be able to draw in which we will investigate further. Is flushing the lumen first is mandatory step to follow?
Yes it is, except for blood cultures. But cultures should only be drawn from a VAD if you are trying to rule out the VAD as the source of BSI. Think about the lab values you are trying to get. Electrolytes? Glucose? A drug trough level? All of those could be left in the lumen so flushing that out is needed before you draw the sample to send to the lab.
Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, NPD-BC, CRNI
Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.
PO Box 10
Milner, GA 30257
Office Phone 770-358-7861