A randomized trial of heparin and saline for maintaining intravenous locks in neonates

J. Heilskov
Charmaine Kleiber, University of Iowa
K. Johnson
J. Miller


PURPOSE: To determine the effects of saline, heparin 2 units (U) per ml saline, and heparin 10 U/ml saline flush solutions on the duration of intravenous (i.v.) locks and the incidence of i.v. infiltration in neonates. DESIGN: Randomized double-blind experiment. SETTING: Tertiary-care nursery. PARTICIPANTS: Neonates (N = 90) hospitalized at birth in the intensive, intermediate care, or newborn units. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total hours from the time the i.v. was inserted to the time the i.v. was removed; hours from the time the i.v. was first flushed to the time the i.v. was removed; number of i.vs. removed because of infiltration. RESULTS: No statistical or clinical differences between the three groups for duration of i.v. nor for incidence of complications. CONCLUSIONS: The use of heparin in i.v. lock flush solution did not affect the duration of i.v. locks nor the incidence of infiltration in neonates.