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Gary Dangerfield
Power picc flushing frequency in the home

We are seeing more patients discharged to home with power piccs.  The home health agencies have asked me to research flushing protocols for these picc lines.

What is the standard of practice for flushing power picc lines in the home when they are not being used on a daily basis?   How often is the lumen being flushed and with what volume of heparin (assuming it is not a groshong picc).

Thanks for you help,

 Gary Dangerfield, Pharm.D. 

The national standards of
The national standards of practice from INS are not specific to the volume, concentration and frequency of flushing any catheter. The most common practice is to flush all CVCs with 5 to 10 mL normal saline before and after each use. If using heparin, the smallest concentration of 10 units per mL can be used. There is a literature analysis on tunneled catheters that recommends 10 units per mL. Flush with at least twice the internal volume of the catheter and for PICCs this would be less than 1 mL so the total flush volume would be about 2 mL. The frequency for all open catheters without an integral valve is after each use or at least once per day. 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

Our home care policy for a

Our home care policy for a power PICC is the same as any other PICC of the same size/guage.  The policy should be based on the the guage of the cathether not weather it is a power or not. 

Ann Marie

Ann Marie Parry, RN, CRNI, VA-BC

[email protected]

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