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  1. Hoffman, Megan MSN, CNS, CMSRN, AOCNS(R), AGCNS-BC, EBP(CH)
  2. Fischer-Cartlidge, Erica DNP, RN, AOCNS, EBP(CH)


The objective of this article was to describe the implementation and outcomes of an evidence-based practice change to remove heparin from implanted vascular access device (IVAD) management. An extensive search of the literature was performed, and articles were appraised and synthesized to determine the best practice. A common theme emerged from the literature, showing that 0.9% sodium chloride alone can be as effective as heparin in preventing occlusion in IVADs. In this nurse-led initiative, heparin was successfully removed from the IVAD deaccess process and replaced with a 0.9% sodium chloride flush using a pulsatile flushing technique. Alteplase administration rates were used to measure success of the project, with no statistically significant change observed in alteplase rates 6 mo postimplementation. Successful implementation of this practice change demonstrates that 0.9% sodium chloride may be used for IVAD lock when deaccessing.