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Routine Flushes

We are in the process of rewriting policies and procedures and my manager asked me to pose a couple of questions to the Group-

What is the process at your facility for ordering routine flushes for INTs, PICCs and CVPs?

Is it a specific MD order?

Is it automatically tied to an order set?

Or is it considered a nursing measure? 

At your facility are routine flushes documented in the Nurses Notes or on the Medication Administration Record?

Thanks All.


In a hospital, the policy
In a hospital, the policy and procedures for flushing all catheters is established through the same process as other p&p. The nurse follows the frequency, volume, concentration, and techniques outlined in this document .  I have never worked in a hospital that required a separate physician's  order for  anything pertaining to catheter flushing. All catheter flushes should be documented in the MAR with the volume, concentration, time, etc noted. This is often a pivotal point in many legal cases I have reviewed. The only thing we have to rely upon is what the nurse states as his/her usual practice because it has been several years and they can not remember actual steps taken in this particular case. Of course, documentation of all steps taken is far better than this type of testimony. Also I teach that catheter flushing is a primary way to assess catheter function, so the choice to give a vesicant med through any line depends upon how if functions when flushed. So don't forget to document the pre-medication flushing either. 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

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