Skip to content

    Central Venous Catheter: Flushing

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    These are general guidelines. Your nurse will teach you how to take care of your catheter. Be sure to follow the specific instructions he or she gives you. Call your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

    To keep your catheter working right, you will need to flush it with a heparin solution. A heparin solution is a liquid that keeps blood from clotting in your catheter and blocking it.

    Recommended Related to Health A-Z

    Chilaiditi's Syndrome

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Chilaiditi's Syndrome is not the name you expected.

    Read the Chilaiditi's Syndrome article > >

    Your doctor will give you a prescription for heparin and the supplies that you will need. Many cancer treatment centers send supply kits home to help patients care for their catheters.

    You will need to flush your catheter every day and after each use.

    1. Wash your hands thoroughly using warm water and soap.
    2. Gather your supplies, and assemble them on a clean area. You will need:
      • Alcohol pads.
      • A 10 mL syringe filled with 3 mL of heparin.
      • A blunt plastic tube called a cannula.
    3. Remove the prefilled heparin syringe and the blunt plastic cannula from their plastic wrappers.
      • Remove the cap from the syringe.
      • Screw the cannula onto the syringe.
      • Do not touch the tip of the syringe or the end of the cannula with your fingers or the work surface.
    4. Remove the cap from the cannula tip.
    5. Check for air bubbles in the syringe. Gently push the plunger of the syringe forward until all of the air is out of the syringe. You should have approximately 2.5 mL of heparin in the syringe. Loosely replace the cap on the syringe.
    6. Clean the end of the catheter with an alcohol swab. Allow the cap to dry.
    7. Remove the tip cover of the catheter and insert the tip of the syringe into the center of the catheter cap.
    8. Unclamp the catheter.
    9. Inject 2.5 mL of heparin into the catheter.
    10. Remove the syringe from the catheter and dispose of it in a needle disposal container. You may use a coffee can with a lid or a needle box. Do not throw your used needles directly into the trash.
    11. Repeat this procedure for each lumen of your catheter. Do not reuse a syringe.
    12. Dispose of your used materials as directed by your nurse.
    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Central Venous Catheter: Flushing Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.