If you have a PICC line, it needs daily flushing with saline and Heparin to keep the line clean and prevent blood clotting.
A couple of months ago, with the help of chemotherapy nurses Renne and Kim from Greater Houston Cancer Clinic, we created a video with step-by-step instructions on how to flush a PICC line with saline and Heparin for my husband so that he could do the needed task at home. Kim did a great job filming while Renne walked through the process on camera.
Before beginning the flush, gather your supplies. Talk to your healthcare team, usually your chemo nurses, about the specific supplies YOU need for your PICC. Here is what we used in the video:
- Latex-free gloves
- Alcohol Prep Pad x 2
- Heparin x 2
- Saline x 2
- Steri-cap x 2
- Towel to keep your clothes dry and clean
- Bio-hazard collection box
Now watch the video to learn how to flush a PICC line with saline and Heparin:
Why Flush a PICC Line with Saline and Heparin?
Here is an actual X-Ray of my PICC:
“A PICC is inserted in a peripheral vein in the arm, such as the cephalic vein, basilic vein or brachial vein, and then advanced proximally toward the heart through increasingly larger veins, until the tip rests in the distal superior vena cava or cavoatrial junction.” – Wikipedia
Think about it. Why wouldn’t you want something that delivers medicine that close to your heart to be clean and clot free? I mean, seriously?