Flushing your child's Groshong or Hickman Line.
Now that your child's line has been inserted, the nursing staff will show you how to flush it. You will also be given a patient booklet which repeats these instructions and a copy of the X Ray so you can see where the line is. Each lumen or channel of the line must be flushed to clear it of blood which would otherwise clot in the line and cause blockage. Depending on your child's age, the nurses will encourage him or her to undertake the flushing or be involved. Our experience is that this results in more efficient line management with fewer complications and a happier patient. We encourage you to support this approach.
When to flush the line.
With patients who remain in bed, lines only need flushing a couple of times a week. Active children may however need more frequent flushes, because there are a number of activities where the pressure inside the chest changes and which may result in blood being sucked into the end of the line. It is important to flush the line whenever these circumstances arise. Examples include:
Repeated coughing, straining, constipation or vomiting.
Physical activity including running, climbing and lifting.
After shouting and strenuous singing.
After flying in a pressurised aircraft.
You should flush each lumen of the line within a few hours of these events. With a very active child, it may be preferable to flush the line each day. Flushing more than daily is not necessary.
You should also flush the line if you see blood in the tubing. If in doubt give the line an extra flush.
The nursing staff will teach you and your child so you are confident to look after the line. If you have any questions about these instructions, please discuss them with either the nursing staff or Dr. Bristow. You are welcome to ring the hospital where your line was inserted:
For the Harley Street Clinic, tel 020 935 7700 and ask for the Harley Bear Unit
For the Portland, tel 020 7580 4400 and ask for the 5 th floor