Flushing Protocols

Flushing Your Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)

In order for your PICC to continue to work properly, it will need to be flushed from time to time.  A flush occurs when a syringe filled with saline is attached to your catheter, and the saline is pushed into your catheter.  This is meant to force any remaining medication or blood that may be inside your catheter into the blood stream.  Flushing requirements differ depending upon which brand of PICC you have.  The flush will be done by a health care provider, or at the direction of the health care provider, by you, a family member, or another individual that has been taught how to do this.

Flushing Your Implantable Port

Each time you receive a treatment, the skin over your port should be cleaned by your nurse. A small, special needle is then inserted through both your skin and the septum, which is the self-sealing silicone rubber area in the center of the port. This needle allows fluid to be delivered into the port chamber. From there, the fluid flows through the catheter into your bloodstream.

After the needle is in place, the nurse will first inject a saline solution to flush your port. Then, you will receive the fluid that contains your medication.

After your medication has been delivered, the nurse will flush your port again with saline and remove the needle. A small bandage may be placed over the port area.

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