Scientific publications

Comparison between saline solution and heparin in arterial catheter patency in intensive care units: a systematic review

Vázquez-Calatayud M, Portillo MC.
UCI, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Universidad de Navarra, Escuela Universitaria de Enfermería, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, España

Magazine: Enfermería Intensiva

Date: Jun 1, 2010

OBJECTIVE
To find the best scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the saline solution compared with heparin in maintaining patency of the arterial cannula in intensive care units.

METHOD
A review of the evidence was made using the databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, CUIDEN and Cochrane Library. The criteria that limited the search were: the type of study (randomised control trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and/or meta-analysis), the year of publication of studies (1990-2009) and language, English and / or Spanish. Finally, a critical appraisal of selected papers was carried out.

RESULTS
Two meta-analysis and six RCTs were identified and analysed. Results from one of the meta-analysis and two RCTs supported the use of heparin for maintaining peripheral arterial catheter patency. In the rest, however, no significant differences were found regarding the arterial catheter patency between the control (saline) and intervention (heparin).

CONCLUSIONS
Recent studies suggest that it is not necessary to use heparin to maintain a patent arterial catheter. From this review the performing of a nationwide multicentre study is proposed to implement the use of saline in Spain.

CITATION  Enferm Clin. 2010 May-Jun;20(3):165-72

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