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Appl Nurs Res. 1991 May;4(2):63-71.

Efficacy of sodium chloride versus dilute heparin for maintenance of peripheral intermittent intravenous devices.


The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine if the patency of the peripheral intermittent intravenous device (PIID) would be maintained as effectively with a sodium chloride solution as with a dilute heparin solution and to determine if a sodium chloride solution could be used with fewer local complications (i.e., infiltration, phlebitis). The sample consisted of 77 hospitalized medical-surgical patients having a total of 114 PIIDs. The PIIDs of subjects in the experimental group were maintained using sodium chloride solution, and the PIIDs of the subjects in the control group were maintained according to the traditional procedure using dilute heparin. The findings revealed no incidence of site loss due to coagulation in either group; moreover no significant between-group difference in the incidence of site loss associated with phlebitis (p = .708) or infiltration (p = .910) was demonstrated. These findings suggest that sodium chloride may be an effective alternative to dilute heparin for maintenance of patency in PIIDs.

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