Comparison of the Effects of Heparin and 0.9% Sodium Chloride Solutions in Maintenance of Patency of Central Venous Catheters
Background: Occlusion of central venous catheters is one of the limiting factors in using them. Heparinized saline solution is the standard solution used for keeping the catheters open.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effect of heparin saline solution and normal saline in maintenance of patency of central venous catheters.
Patients and Methods: This double-blind study was performed on 84 patients of intensive care unit who had central venous catheters. The patients were randomly divided into two groups of heparin saline receivers and normal saline receivers. In the heparin group after each drug injection into the lumen, 3 mL of heparin saline solution was injected in the catheter as well. The other group only received 10 mL of normal saline instead. The catheters were examined for blood return and flushing every eight hours for 21 days. Data was analyzed using SPSS software version 20 and descriptive and analytic statistics were studied.
Results: There was no significant difference in the rate of flushing (P = 0.872) and possibility of taking blood samples from catheters (P = 0.745) in the two groups of heparin and normal saline receivers. Furthermore, using heparin had no effect on prolonging the survival of catheters.
Conclusions: Considering possible side effects of heparin and the increase in treatment charges and the fact that using heparin did not have a significant effect on patency and survival of catheters in the studied patients, it is recommended to use normal saline solution to maintain the patency of central venous catheters.