Flushing in Intravenous Catheters: Observational Study of Nursing Practice in Intensive Care in Brazil.
An observational study was developed with 108 nursing professionals who managed vascular access devices in 4 intensive care units of a university hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The objective was to analyze the practice of the nursing staff in performing flushing for the maintenance of vascular access devices in critically ill patients. Data were collected by observing the flushing procedure using a structured checklist and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. In 23% of the 404 observations, there was no flushing. When performed at some point during catheter management (77%), flushing was predominant after drug administration with 1 or 2 drugs administered. There were flaws in the flushing technique applied in terms of volume and method of preparation. Time of professional experience >5 years, knowledge about recommendations, and training on flushing were variables associated with technique performance. It was concluded that the flushing procedure did not meet the recommendations of good practices, with failures that constituted medication errors.
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