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Flush frequency during continuous infusions

I am curious as to who remains vigilent to q 8 hr patency assessments during continuous infusions.  Does anyone have any research on this subject?  I understand assessing patency every 8 hours and before and after infusions.  Is the risk for infection (from repeated access) greater than the risk for an IV complication?  Depending on the infusion of course.  Thoughts on the matter?  

Andrew Walker BSN, RN, VA-BC, CRNI, PCCN

There is no evidence that I

There is no evidence that I have ever found to answser your question. Patency assessment is defined as flushing and aspirating for a blood return. No evidence for q 8 h and I have never worked with such a policy. For continuous infusion, assess patency before you give an intermittent medication through the line and also PRN with pump alarms, blood backing up, etc. Q8H only increases the entry into the system, increases risk of contamination, and there is no evidence that it is benefical. Do this only when there is a clinical indication to do and not on a scheduled basis. 

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

Thanks Lynn!

Thanks Lynn!

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