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capping the loose IV line while accessing catheter

I have been asked if it is acceptable to use the cap from the flush syringe to cover the end of the IV tubing while accessing the catheter.  Are there any studies that show that this is acceptable or not acceptable.  I usually recommend using a new sterile cap for this purpose but the staff says they are not handy and see no reason for not using the cap from the syringe.

It is not acceptable

It is not acceptable practice. Those syringe tip caps are for a single use ONLY!! They should not be reused for any other purpose. Why is the end of the IV tubing not already covered with a new sterile end cap from when it was disconnected from it's previous use? Maybe I am missing something but I don't understand why the IV tubing would have an open end? The national standard of practice is to cover the male luer end of an intermittent IV set immediately when it is disconnected from the catheter. This is done with a new sterile end cap or new blunt cannula if required for your needleless connector. That cap must remain intact until the set is used again. Any questions means that the whole set gets discarded. And these sets must be changed every 24 hours. CDC guidelines state specifically that all catheters must be accessed with a sterile device, so how you maintain those intermittent sets is very important. 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

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