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Flushing ports-how much heparin?

Our pharmacy is hoping to change to a prefilled, heparinized saline syringe for flushing

central lines(including open-ended PICCs).  They want to use a 12ml syringe with

10ml of a saline/heparin solution containing 300units of Heparin.  In the past, we

have flushed the other central lines with 200u Heparin each lumen, but the ports

with 5 ml=500units Heparin.

  Any comments or suggestions appreciated.  What Heparin dosage and solution amount

are you using at your facility?



There is no research to

There is no research to establish a finite amount of heparin that will create the greatest patency of any catheter. In fact, I believe our days of using heparin are limited and we will be changing to a new solution as soon as a new type of commercially available.

 In the meantime, I would not be concerned about 300 units of heparin vs 500 units of heparin for flushing implanted ports or any other catheter. My question is about the volume. Are you sure this is 300 units contained in 10 mL of saline? Usually it is either 10 units per mL or 100 units per mL as in your previous dose. The proposed change would mean that the majority of heparin will be flushed through the catheter system and into the vein, leaving only the catheter's priming volume to reside inside the lumen. Again, there is no research to use for making these decisions. Lynn

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

We us 1cc of 1:100 heparin

We us 1cc of 1:100 heparin to PQ placed catheters...(except high flow caths 2cc 1:1000 heparin...always waste!)

I-Port we use 5cc of 1:100 heparin.

Little to no known problems.


Nina Elledge
Check the mfr

Check the mfr recommendations, that may help direct you.


Nina Elledge, RN, CRNI

[email protected]

Nina Elledge, RN, MBA, CRNI

[email protected]

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