Flushing Your Implanted Port with Saline

This information explains a change in the way your nurse will flush your implanted port if you’re a patient at Memorial Sloan Kettering over the age of 18.

Your nurse will flush your implanted port when it’s not being used. This is done to make sure the catheter doesn’t become blocked with blood clots.

In the past, we flushed ports using both saline and heparin. But research studies show that saline is as effective as heparin in preventing blood clots from forming so we don’t need to flush with both.

Now, we’ll only flush your port with saline. This will also prevent problems you may have if you’re allergic to heparin.

Many hospitals have made this change. We’ll continue checking your port to make sure it’s working properly every time it’s accessed. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.

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