Heparin vs Saline and Patency of 24 Gauge IV Catheters


Name: Leigh Kyle

Rank: CPT, USA

Organization: Duke University

Performance Site: Duke University, Durham, NC

Year Published: 1997

Abstract Status: Final


Maintaining patency of small bore intravenous (IV) catheters in infants is problematic. Traditionally, heparin has been used in flush solutions due to its anticoagulant properties. There is conflict in the existing literature, however, regarding the efficacy of saline versus heparin flushes in 24-gauge IV catheters. The purpose of this study, was to compare these flushes in a rigorously controlled study using an animal model.Using a rabbit model, a double blind experiment was conducted with 24-gauge catheters in four recorded trials. Angiocath brand catheters were placed in both auricle veins, and each catheter was secured in a similar manner. Ampicillin was infused into each ear at the same interval with each ear randomized to receive either the heparin solution or the saline solution.The subjects were 10 white New Zealand rabbits. Data were collected on 76 catheter sites. Patency for each catheter was measured in hours and evaluated based on presence of warmth, erythema, induration, leakage, or occlusion. Using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, there was no significant difference in the duration of patency between the heparin and saline flushes (p=0.95). In addition, reasons for catheter removal were similar between the two groups.


Final Report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2003102...