Drawing Blood Through Your Child's Central Line
Using a central line to draw blood is a safe, easy way to draw blood samples needed to diagnose and treat your child. This handout explains how you can safely do this once you go home. For young infants, flushing volumes may vary. Please talk with your doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner.
- Alcohol wipes
- Vacutainer adapter
- 1-2 10 mL syringe(s) of saline or ______ mL, as specified
- 1 blood tube for waste
- Blood tubes for samples (color depends on orders)
- 1 5mL syringe of heparinized saline or _______ mL, as specified
Before leaving the hospital, a nurse will show you how you can safely do these steps once you are home.
1. Wash your hands and put on the gloves.
2. Using sterile technique, screw the adapter onto the Vacutainer.
3. Clean the top of the needleless (MicroClave® Clear) connector with an
alcohol wipe using a ‘juicing’ method for 15 seconds and allow to dry.
4. Clamp catheter
5. Attach the Vacutainer to the needleless connector by inserting the luer and
twisting 1/4 turn to the right to create a friction fit.
Alcohol wipe → → →
6. Unclamp the catheter and push the “waste” blood tube into the Vacutainer.
This will remove the heparinized saline that is in the catheter.
7. Blood should fill this tube. Once blood stops, remove the tube and discard in
the plastic needle disposal box.
- If blood does not flow into the tube: first make sure you have unclamped the catheter then try a new blood tube. If there is no blood flow into the tube, remove the Vacutainer. Flush the line through the needleless connector with 10-20 mL of saline. Then, repeat steps 1 through 4. If there is still no blood flow, contact your health care provide.
8. Attach and fill the other blood tubes as ordered.
9. When complete, remove the Vacutainer by twisting the vacutainer to the
right ¼ turn.
10. Flush the line through the needleless connector with 10-20 mL of normal
saline using a push stop push method (or _____ ml) followed by 5 mL
of heparinized saline (or _____ ml) using a push stop push
- After flushing, if you can see blood in MicroClave® Clear Connector, remove connector and replace with a new one.
11. Clamp the line while holding down the plunger and remove syringe at the
Changing the Needleless (MicroClave® Clear) connector
Change the connector every three days or if unable to clear it of blood after a blood draw.
1. Remove the plastic cover from the syringe. Push the air
out of the syringe.
2. Open the needleless connector package and connect the
syringe filled with
saline to the end of the needleless connector. Twist on
completely. If the tip
of the syringe touches anything other than the end of the catheter, stop, and
replace the syringe.
3. Fill the needleless connector with saline solution by pointing the blue
protective cap found at the other end of the connector up towards the
ceiling. This will remove all air from the connector. Leave the syringe filled
with saline attached to the needleless connector.
4. Clamp your PICC line.
5. Remove the old connector from the PICC line. Hold the line without touching
the catheter opening.
6. Remove the blue protective end from the needleless connector
7. Attach the connector to the line. Do not over tighten. One firm turn onto the
line is enough.
8. Unclamp the line.
9. Flush the line using the remaining flush solution already attached to the
10. Clamp the line while holding down the plunger and remove syringe at the
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/01/2012
Copyright © 08/01/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5879
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