Northwest Oncology & Hematology

Rolling Meadows Office: 847.870.4100
Elk Grove Village Office: 847.437.3312
Hoffman Estates Office: 847.885.4100
Barrington Office: 847.842.0180
Elgin Office: 847.577.1023

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Flushing an IV CatheterLavado de una sonda intravenosa

Flushing an IV Catheter

Image of syringe

Image of syringe

Image of syringe

Image of syringe

Image of syringe

Flush your IV catheter as directed. Use 5 cc of saline before and after your medication. Flush catheter after each use, or once a day if not in use. Some catheters need only weekly flushing if not in use-check with your health care provider. If instructed, also flush with 3 cc of heparin after the second saline flushing.

1. Fill a Syringe

  • Uncap a new saline or heparin bottle. Or use alcohol to wipe the rubber stopper on a bottle that's already open.

  • Draw the syringe plunger back up to the amount of saline or heparin you need. Uncap the needle. Insert it into the stopper. Push the plunger in all the way.

  • Turn the bottle upside down with the needle still in place. Draw back on the plunger and withdraw 5 cc of saline or 3 cc of heparin.

2. Remove Air from the Syringe

  • Hold the syringe with the needle pointing up. Flick or tap the syringe. Any large bubbles should rise to the surface.

  • Slowly push in the plunger until a tiny drop of saline or heparin comes out the needle tip. Replace the needle cap. That way the needle will remain sterile when you put it down.

3. Wipe the Port

  • To reduce the risk of germs entering the IV line, wipe the port with alcohol

4. Inject Saline or Heparin

  • Open the catheter clamp. Uncap the needle. Insert it into the injection port.

  • Flush the catheter. Push the plunger in slowly and smoothly. Do not force.

5. Finish Flushing

  • Close the catheter clamp just before the syringe becomes empty. This stops blood from flowing back into the catheter. Note: Some catheters may not need clamps.

  • Remove the needle and syringe from the injection port. Place them in a sharps box. Flush again if instructed to do so.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2000-11-01T00:00:00-06:00

Contact us at Northwest Oncology & Hematology. You can reach us at 847.870.4100 (Rolling Meadows office), 847.437.3312 (Elk Grove Village office), 847.885.4100 (Hoffman Estates office), 847.842.0180 (Barrington office) and 847.577.1023 (Elgin office)For your convenience, you can also use our New Patient Appointment online form to schedule your consultation with us.

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