Keyword Analysis & Research: saline lock vs heparin lock

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a heparin lock?

Heparin locks are similar to saline locks in that they are used to maintain patency of an IV. However, instead of the use of normal saline, a concentrated heparin solution is inserted into the tubing to prevent blood clots from forming. Heparin is an anticoagulant that keeps the blood thin and lowers the risk of the IV becoming occluded.

What is the difference between heparin and saline?

However, heparin is only used if the catheter is deep in the body, in a large vessel or meant to stay in for a long duration. Saline is comparable in preventing clotting if blood is not aspirated into the lock or the pressure is maintain by the lock.

What is a saline lock?

Since the saline lock can be converted to a full-scale IV at any point, such as if a mother requests an epidural or is in need of IV medication or fluids. Often written into the birth plans of mothers wanting and natural childbirth, a saline lock is used to provide the access in case of emergency, but the mobility that mothers desire.

What is the difference between an IV and a saline lock?

Let's take a look at the difference between the two. When an IV is not in use, a saline lock can be capped off with a short piece of tubing that has ports on the end. To prevent the backflow of blood into the line that may cause clotting, the line is flushed with normal saline that remains in the tubing to ensure that the tube stays patent.

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