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Nancy N
When do you change caps when blood cultures are drawn from a Central Line.

Dear Forum,

We are confusing ourselves in the updating and rewriting our central line policies. 

1.  Do you change your central line caps with every blood draw or only every 4 days with line change and/or when blood is visable?


2.  When drawing blood from a central line for blood cultures, are you drawing the blood sample hub-to-hub or drawing the blood sample from a new, sterile cap?




 No evidence for changing the

 No evidence for changing the needleless connector with each and every blood draw. You should also avoid using CVADs for blood draws if possible. See Phlebotomy standard from INS. Also see standard on needleless connectors. All NCs must be flushed clear of blood regardless of whether you were drawing a sample or checking for patency by aspirating blood return. This is not an easy task if the NC is opaque. 

The only evidence for changing NC is when you are drawing a blood culture from the CVAD. You can draw hub to hub or put on a new NC and draw from that after scrubbing the connection surface. Never draw a culture from a used NC. See INS standard on Infection. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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