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Margie Martin
Ethyl Chloride usage prior to port access

I am now working an an oncology office as chemotherapy nurse and have never been a proponent of using Ethyl Chloride for freezing the port site prior to access. My feeling is that it is not really sterile. Does anyone have any articles to support this.

Margie Martin, CRNI

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ann zonderman
Ann Zonderman, BSN, JD,

Ann Zonderman, BSN, JD, CRNI, LHRM

There is also a problem that the product causes skin irritations and may leave nasty burns..when too much is applied.

how about emla or similar type product  

Ann Zonderman, BSN, JD, CRNI

We had one Dr doing his own

We had one Dr doing his own theraputic phlebotomies that used this. I always had the same concern, you can't wipe it off to clean skin properly.

We have a few port people who place emla on at home and by the time they get to us, it's nicely "frozen".  Gail

Anne Marie Frey
Our onco group was also

Our onco group was also using this product for freezing skin, but once I sent them the product insert, they stopped.  It mentions the fact that ethyl chloride is not actually "sterile" per se, is extremely flammable and must be used in a well ventilated area, should not be used on any open skin, can cause skin damage if used repeatedly, only lasts 2 seconds or so, and since it is not sterile, you have to clean after you spray if you are accessing the port sterilly, etc.  We now use LMX-4 for ports, but the new product Zingo, looks promising.

anne marie

Anne Marie Frey RN, BSN, CRNI, VA-BC
Clinical Expert
Vascular Access Service: I.V. Team
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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Leigh Ann Bowegeddes
I agree with Ann. I am

I agree with Ann. I am always concerned about the potential for burn if you spray for too long, as well as the sterility issue. Also, JCAHO does not look favorably upon flammable sprays in patient care areas. I worked in a hospital that had to remove spray benzoin from stock, reportedly for this reason (though I can think of other reasons to delete that product from stock).

Leigh Ann


Has any one used or aware of
Has any one used or aware of any ariticles with regards to numbing the area with lidocaine prior to port access?
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