- 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.
- The steps in the method below may serve as a guide; speak to your healthcare team about the specific equipment that your child uses.
- Preserving pre-filled syringes: keep the syringes at room temperature or as recommended by your healthcare team or pharmacy.
- Consider whether you need another helper to keep your child in a safe position during the procedure.
- Good handwashing is essential before and after providing care.
- Optimize your child’s comfort during care with appropriate positioning and the use of distraction.
- Irrigation with saline solution should be carried out before and after the administration of parenteral nutrition.
- Your healthcare team may recommend different irrigation frequency 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)
- Container for sharps (to safely disopose of used needles and ampoules)
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.