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Comparison of Occlusion Rates by Flushing Solutions for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters with Positive Pressure Luer‐activated Devices

Bowers, Linda MSN, APRN, BC, OCN®; Speroni, Karen Gabel PhD, RN; Jones, LouAnn APRN, BC; Atherton, Martin DrPH

doi: 10.1097/01.NAN.0000308542.90615.c2
Article

In this prospective, randomized study of 102 subjects with single-lumen peripherally inserted central catheters with positive pressure Luer-activated devices, 2 flushing solution groups were compared for their effect on occlusion rates. Of the 50 subjects randomly assigned to the normal saline group, 3 (6%) experienced occlusions, all of whom were elderly women. There were no occlusions in the 52 subjects randomly assigned to the heparinized saline group. Although the occlusion rate findings were not statistically significant, the charges associated with replacing a PICC because of occlusion are economically relevant. The annualized savings attributable to heparinized saline use are $22,891.

In this prospective, randomized study of 102 subjects with single-lumen peripherally inserted central catheters with positive pressure Luer-activated devices, 2 flushing solution groups were compared for their effect on occlusion rates. Of the 50 subjects randomly assigned to the normal saline group, 3 (6%) experienced occlusions, all of whom were elderly women. There were no occlusions in the 52 subjects randomly assigned to the heparinized saline group. Although the occlusion rate findings were not statistically significant, the charges associated with replacing a PICC because of occlusion are economically relevant. The annualized savings attributable to heparinized saline use are $22,891.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Medical, Surgical, and Oncology Units, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Leesburg, Virginia (Ms Bowers); Director of Nursing Research and Chair of the Research Council, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Leesburg, Virginia (Dr Speroni); Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Coordinator, Peripheral Arterial Disease Clinic, Inova Loudoun Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute, Leesburg, Virginia (Ms Jones); Adjunct Professor, George Mason University (Dr Atherton).

Corresponding Author: Karen Gabel Speroni, PhD, RN, Inova Loudoun Hospital, 44045 Riverside Parkway, Leesburg, VA 20176 (karen.speroni@inova.org).

Linda Bowers holds Associate, Bachelor, and Master of Science in Nursing degrees.

Karen Gabel Speroni is a Clinical Scientist on Institutional Review Boards. She holds Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Health Services Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy, Business Administration-Health Care Management degrees.

LouAnn Jones is certified for the care and placement of peripherally inserted central catheters. She holds Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing degrees.

Martin Atherton provides statistical consulting services for studies originated by the Research Council of Inova Loudoun Hospital. He holds Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Master of Public Health, and Doctor of Public Health, Health Services Research degrees.

© Copyright 2008 by the Infusion Nurses Society