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Ann Williams RN CRNI
Ethanol & antibiotic Locks




I have been asked about ethanol and antibiotic locks, by the hospital pharmacy. I have a policy written some time ago, for the 1 time we used ethanol for a lipid 'sludge' in a Hickman. They are interested in the ethanol for 'sterilizing" the catheter. Any use as a "lock", and would you share your policy? Or give me some facts that I could write my own. Interested in strength used, how long it dwells, and how frequent the dose.

Same info needed for an antibiotic lock.

You can email me privately at [email protected] if you would like.

Thanks in advance!

You will find the protocol

You will find the protocol for ethanol used by Nebraska Medical Center here:

This may appear with a lot of strange characters but I can not figure out quickly how to get rid of them, sorry.

All current guidelines recommend that antibiotic locks be reserved for treatment of an existing CRBSI. They all have serious reservations about using ABX locks for prophylactic purposes due to antibiotic resistance that could develop.


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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