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Flushing a peripheral IV (PIV)

 

What is a peripheral IV?

An IV is a way of giving medicine or fluid into a vein. A “peripheral IV’ is a short plastic tube that goes in the hand, arm, foot, or scalp. Your child’s St. Jude team uses it to take blood samples. They can also give some treatments through it.

You might hear the St. Jude team call this tube a “PIV.”

What does a PIV look like?

A PIV usually has a clear bandage over it. This keeps air and water from getting in. The tube has a connector on the end called a Clave®. You will also see a clamp on the tube.

The PIV and your child’s arm might be attached to a board. This is called an “arm board.” It helps keep the PIV in the right place.

When should I call the hospital about the PIV?

Call the hospital if you notice any of the problems below.

  • Trouble flushing the PIV
  • Pain or tenderness around the PIV
  • Fluid leaking around the PIV
  • Swelling or redness around the PIV or above it
  • Loose, wet or dirty bandage
  • PIV comes out

If you have any of the problems above while you are flushing the PIV, please clamp the IV tubing, take the syringe off, and put a disinfectant cap over the Clave.

If the PIV comes out, press on the area with sterile gauze until the bleeding stops. Then, put on a self-stick bandage such as a Band-Aid®.

If the bleeding does not stop after 5 to 10 minutes of pressing on the area, call your child’s primary clinic. If you call after hours or on the weekend, ask for the nursing coordinator or doctor on call.

How to flush your child’s PIV

Get ready

  • Clean your work area with an alcohol prep pad or other disinfectant..
  • Clean your hands with soap and water, and dry well. (For guidelines, see “Do you know… Clean hands.”)
  • Then, gather your supplies and place them on your clean work area.

Supplies needed

  • 2 Site Scrubs® (If you do not have Site Scrubs, you may use 2 alcohol prep pads)
  • One (1) syringe of sterile sodium chloride (saline for IV use). Check label for:
    • The name “0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection” on the syringe,
    • 5 mls of liquid in the syringe, and
    • An expiration date on the syringe that is still in the future..
  • One (1) disinfectant cap

1. Prepare the saline syringe

  • Remove the cap from the saline syringe as you were taught without touching the inside of the cap or the tip of the syringe. Set the cap down so the inside is facing up.
  • Holding the syringe upright, pull back on the plunger of the syringe. Look for any large air pockets, and thump out the bubbles. Slowly, push the air out of the syringe and stop when the top of the plunger is at the 1.5 ml mark. You will only give 1.5 mls of the saline as you flush the syringe. Place the cap back on the syringe. Be careful not to touch the inside of the cap or the tip of the syringe. The saline flush can now be laid down on the table. It is ready to use.

2. Clean the Clave

  • Open 2 Site Scrubs and place them on the clean work area.
  • Take the disinfectant cap off the Clave and put it aside.
  • Clean the Clave. Using the Site Scrub, scrub with back and forth motion for 10 seconds and let dry for 5 seconds. If using an alcohol pad, wipe the end of the Clave 8 seconds on the top and 8 seconds around the rim in the grooves and let dry for 15 seconds.
  • Do not blow on or fan the Clave.
  • After the Clave is clean, do not lay it down.

3. Flush the line with saline

  • With your free hand, pick up the saline syringe and remove the cap as you were taught without laying down the Clave. Attach the saline syringe to the Clave.
  • Unclamp the sliding clamp on the PIV tube.
  • Slowly push the saline into the PIV tube with a pulsing motion. As you push the last bit of saline into the line, close the clamp. Unscrew the syringe from the Clave.

4. Clean the Clave again

  • Using the Site Scrub, scrub with a back and forth motion for 10 seconds and let it dry for 5 seconds. If using an alcohol pad, wipe the end of the Clave 8 seconds on the top and 8 seconds around the rim in the grooves and let dry for 15 seconds.
  • Do not blow on or fan the Clave.
  • After the Clave is clean, do not lay it down.

5. Cap the line

  • Put the new disinfectant cap over the Clave. Throw away the old cap.
  • Throw away your other used supplies in the regular trash.
  • Clean your hands again.

How often should I flush the PIV?

Every 8 to 12 hours. You can flush it right before bedtime so you do not have to wake your child during the night.

If you have questions about when to flush the PIV, ask your clinic nurse. You can also write notes below.

Flushing schedule

Use the lines below to write your PIV flushing schedule and any notes about it.

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Questions?

If you have questions about your child’s PIV, please call your child’s primary clinic. After hours or on the weekend, ask for the nursing coordinator or the doctor on call at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833).


 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).