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Pulsatile Flushing

A Review of the Literature

Boord, Christina, BSN, RN, OCN®

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000311

Flushing is an essential strategy in maintaining patency of a central vascular access device. However, there is no standard practice regarding flushing techniques. Pulsatile flushing has been discussed in the past based on the principles of fluid dynamics. Recently, in vitro studies regarding pulsatile flushing have shed light on the usefulness of this technique. A critique of the current literature regarding pulsatile flushing compared with standard continuous flushing is presented here.

University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

Christina Boord, BSN, RN, OCN®, is a clinical practice and education specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she sits on several hospital- and system-wide committees, working to improve patient-centered care. She is passionate about supporting staff in both education and process improvement initiatives.

Corresponding Author: Christina Boord, BSN, RN, OCN®, University of Maryland Medical Center, Greenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 (

The author of this article has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© Copyright 2019 by Infusion Nurses Society