Background and aim: In Mainland China, heparin saline solution is commonly used for flushing and locking peripheral intravenous access devices in clinical practice for a long time. We conducted a prospective controlled trial to compare the effectiveness and safety of preservative-free 0.9% sodium chloride solution versus heparin saline solution as flushing and locking solution for peripheral intravenous access devices.
Methods: Patients with gastroenterological or hepatic diseases were enrolled for this study from August 2011 to October 2011. After non-randomized allocation, preservative-free 0.9% sodium chloride was used as flushing and locking solution in the sodium chloride solution group, while hepatic solution (10 U/mL) was given in the heparin saline solution group. The device related complications and its maintenance duration were compared between two groups. One-way ANOVA, Chi2, or Mantel-Haenszel test were performed using SPSS 13.0 and RevMan 5.0.
Results: Totally, 181 and 178 peripheral intravenous access devices in the sodium chloride solution and heparin saline solution groups were included and analyzed. Results indicated than sodium chloride solution did not increase the risks of occlusion (7.7% vs. 7.9%) and other adverse events of peripheral intravenous access devices (P = 0.163). Sodium chloride solution neither shortened the duration of peripheral intravenous access devices maintenance (3.6 ± 1.1 days vs. 3.7 ± 1.2 days, P = 0.651), nor increased the proportion of abnormal withdrawal (29.3% vs. 31.5%, P = 0.654).
Conclusion: Sodium chloride solution is as effective and safe as conventional heparin saline solution for flushing and locking peripheral intravenous access devices, which results from our evidence-based study and should be transferred to other nurses in China.