- The steps in the method below may serve as a guide; speak to your healthcare team about the specific equipment that your child uses.
- Optimize your child’s comfort during care with appropriate positioning and the use of distraction.
- Consider whether you need another helper to keep your child in a safe position during the procedure.
- Irrigation (or flushing) of the catheter with saline solution (0.9% sodium chloride injection) prevents the catheter from becoming blocked. It removes accumulated deposits in the catheter and prevents obstruction of the catheter.
- Irrigation with a locking solution (eg, heparin solution) is sometimes used to prevent the formation of clots at the tip of the catheter. Your healthcare team will tell you if this type of irrigation is appropriate for your child and under what circumstances.
- Preserving pre-filled syringes: keep the syringes at room temperature or as recommended by your healthcare team or pharmacy.
- Good hand hygiene is essential before and after performing this care.
- Irrigation with saline solution should be carried out according to the recommendations of the care team:
- before and after each administration of antibiotic if you are using an elastomeric infusion pump or an ambulatory infusion pump operating on a discontinuous basis.
- at least once a day when changing the bag or cassette reservoir with or without the tubing, if a continuous ambulatory infusion pump is used.
- Your care team may recommend different irrigation frequency rates depending on your child’s catheter type.
- If a long period is anticipated before the next catheter is used, irrigation with a locking solution (eg, heparin solution) may be necessary.
- Mask for you or your child (if there is a cold or other respiratory infection)
- Disinfectant swabs or pads (eg, 2% chlorinehexidine and 70% alcohol
- Syringes of sterile saline (pre-filled by pharmacy) at room temperature
- Locking solution syringe (pre-filled by pharmacy) at room temperature (if necessary)
Refer to your healthcare team if the material used or the sequence of steps taught is different from what is described in the care method.