1. White, Mary L. PhD, APRN-BC
  2. Crawley, Jamie MBA/HCM, PhD, RN
  3. Rennie, Elizabeth A. RN
  4. Lewandowski, Linda A. PhD, RN


An evidence-based study examined the effectiveness of 2 solutions, heparin and normal saline, when used to flush capped pediatric peripheral intravenous (CPP IV) catheters. This experimental study assessed patency, redness, swelling, clotting, bruising, leakage, and patient pain after each intervention/flush. Study participants included 62 children (32 heparin and 30 normal saline) who had CPP IV catheters using 20-, 22-, or 24-gauge catheters. No statistically significant differences were found in IV catheter patency between children in the normal saline group and children in the heparin group. A postimplementation follow-up study with 30 patients who received normal saline only as a flush experienced no patency issues.