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CVC Dressing Change Procedure

Hello--wondering if there are specific guidelines on the amount of CHG/IPA solution to use on a CVC site for a dressing change? Does the mL of the CHG/IPA stick matter?

In our previous CVC dressing kit it contained 3 swabsticks (total of 5.25 mL) of 2% CHG and 70% IPA from Carefusion. For external CVCs (PICCs and external temporary or permanent) we would use one swabstick on the insertion site and then 2nd swabstick back and forth on one side and then the 3rd swabstick on the other side.

In our new CVC kits there was only 1 CHG/IPA swab (1.6 mL) of 3.15% CHG and 70% IPA made from Prevantics/PDI. Is that really enough to clean a CVC site (especially an external CVC)? Is the 3.15% too much for a neonate (but then there is just one)? The idea with just 1 swab is that the RN would flip over the swab to clean one side and then the other side (it is a flat swabstick).

We also have in stock a single 3mL 2% CHG/70% IPA applicator too (mostly used for PORTS).

 The amount of skin

 The amount of skin antiseptic solution used is based on the surface area of skin to be scrubbed. You will need to obtain information from the manufacturer on the amount of solution to apply to a specific amount of skin surface area. Use of multiple swabsticks is a holdover procedure from the old days and I don't think it is necessary with CHG now as long as the quantity of solution is sufficient for the area to be scrubbed. 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


Here are the surface areas covered per the manufacturer:
Dry Area:
4" x 4" (16 sq in)
(10 x 10 cm)
Moist Area:
3" x 5" (15 sq in)
Also, these swabsticks are to be used for 1 min on one side and then turned over and the other side used on the same area for 1 min (total of 2 min scrub). Dry time is 90 secs.

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