Reply To: Heparin Locks and Port Access

  • Tricia Mickle

    October 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Hi there–
    We do not leave ports accessed for greater than 24 hours without flushing with heparin (i.e. the patient will be back for daily chemo, or parents are flushing at home after antibiotics, etc.)  Our current practice is to flush with 5 ml’s of 10unit/ml heparin, regardless of whether we are keeping the patient accessed for the next 24 hours, or deaccessing.  We routinely place a biopatch if the patient is going to remain accessed for 96 hours or longer.

    Tricia Mickle
    Supervisor/Charge Nurse
    Portland, OR
    United States

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-23-2014 01:49 PM
    From: Sarah Kaczor
    Subject: Heparin Locks and Port Access


    I have two questions that our clinic is struggling with and any help/guidance/evidence-based practice would be awesome!

    1.  If a patient gets accessed and is not coming back in the next two days, do you keep him/her accessed?
    2.  If a patient is staying accessed and not coming back for two days (i.e. accessed Monday, coming back Wednesday), how much heparin are you using for a hep lock on Monday?

    Hopefully those questions make sense and we appreciate any input you may have.  Thank you!

    Sarah Kaczor
    Alexandria, VA
    United States