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Declot technique

Has anyone heard of this method of clearing an obstructed PICC line: Attach a 10 ml NS-filled syringe to each port (with cap in place) and alternately flush, pushing 1-2 ml in each time. This alternating pressure mechanically dislodges the clot. I have seen this work miracles when it was done with a lumen completely obstructed. Now, my question, before I add this to my "bag of tricks", is this a safe practice? Has anyone done this, heard of this or know of any literature relating to this particular method? Could this cause harm? 


Never heard of it and don't

Never heard of it and don't think it would be safe at all. There would be a chance of emboli in my opinion. Don't think I would ever do it or recommend doing it.  


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

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Not sure how that would
Not sure how that would work.  If there is an obstruction, how would you be able to push anything?  I prefer Cathflo or replacement if unsuccessful.
What happens to the clot?
What happens to the clot?
Surprisingly enough, as far

Surprisingly enough, as far as I know, this hasn't caused any harm, but I will definately NOT be doing this. It's scary to think some nurses are using this technique, because, unlike TPA that causes the clot to disolve then it is aspirated out of the catheter, this clot must go somewhere and likely becomes an emboli. And who knows what size thrombus is occluding the line? Very scary to think about. Thanks for all your input.

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