In our organization we are having a discussion regarding the need to flush an implanted port that is accessed and being used for daily hydration over 4 hours. This results in the port that is accessed but inactive for 20 hrs each day. The question that has been brought up is; do we need to flush that port with heparin if being used again within less than 24 hrs?
The INS standards say "before removal of an access needle from an implanted port and/or for periodic access and flushing, the device should be locked with heparin solution 100 units/ml". Our organization has a medical directive which states "if accessed but not used for more than 24 hrs, the implanted port can be flushed 1-2 times/week using 10-20 ml of NS followed by 3-5 mls of 100 units/ml of heparin".
There is lack of clarity regarding the appropriateness of when heparin is not needed (ie. in the even that you are administering an infusate in less than a 24 hrs period. The concern on one side is the unnecessary use of heparin while on the other side, the risk of occlusion.
Just to note, we use needless connectors to create a positive pressure within the catheter.
Thanks in advance!