Hi, my IV team believes the nurses on the med-surg floors are drawing labs from central lines using the injection port of the IV tubing rather than disconnecting and drawing from the hub.
They believe this to be true because there are finding blood in the tubing on running lines. I am working on getting education out about why we shouldn't do this. This is a huge infection risk, I know.
Why I am writing is because I am sure I read somewhere that even if you have flushed the line and all red blood cells have been removed, you may have white cells and plasma left behind that can be a medium for bacteria. I don't want to say that until I can confirm my recollection as being correct.
If anyone has encountered this situation before and have teaching tips that help disuade the practice please share.
You can also have a high number of RBCs without any color change. But there is no evidence to say that drawing from an injection port vs disconnection is a lower risk of infection. IMO, there is much greater hub manipulation when you disconnect. A better method would be to simply turn off the infusing fluid through one lumen and drawn from the other lumen being used for intermittnet meds. The down side to drawing from the infusing fluid is skewing the lab data. So look at that accuracy of lab values you are seeing. Sorry I cannot quote a reference about your question but I know the RBC and color thing has been published.
Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, NPD-BC, CRNI
Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.
PO Box 10
Milner, GA 30257
Office Phone 770-358-7861