Our hospital Med Safety pharmacist is working to instute the 10u/ml of "Heparin Locking" for central lines. Meanwhile, we still follow saline with 5ml of 500u/ml heparin.
The INS flushing guidelines recommend flushing unused lumens at least q24 hours. Someone has recommended that policy is be changed to Q12 (from Q24).
I'm guessing the reason for the change is so the line gets assessed each shift. (I haven't had the opportunity to ask the right person yet.)
My questions: What are the benefits of flushing an unused line/lumen more than once a day? If an additional flush is believed to be beneficial, I feel we should wait until we're using the lower dose of Heparin (or saline only).
Can it be argued that the additional flush (connection) increases the risk for CLABSI?
Do you believe the increase in cost of line maintenance (nursing time and supplies) will pay off?
Thanks so much,