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

J Soc Pediatr Nurs. 1998 Jul-Sep;3(3):111-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.1998.tb00216.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infusions, Intravenous / methods
  • Male
  • Neonatal Nursing*
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Heparin