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Sterile water, saline and/or dextrose, diluent/flush, 10 ml

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Common Name(s): Sterile Water, Saline, and/or Dextrose Flush Technical Term: HCPCS Procedure A4216


The sterile water, saline, and/or dextrose flush is a medical procedure used to clean and maintain the patency of intravenous (IV) lines or catheters. It involves injecting a small volume (typically 10 ml) of a sterile diluent or flush solution into the medical device to ensure it is free of blockages and functioning properly.


Conditions Addressed:

  • Ensures the IV line or catheter remains open and unobstructed.
  • Prevents the formation of blood clots inside the device.


  • To provide a clear path for the delivery of medications, fluids, or nutrients.
  • To maintain the functionality of the IV line or catheter.


Symptoms or Conditions:

  • Patients receiving IV therapy.
  • Patients with long-term central venous catheters or ports.

    Patient Criteria:

  • Any individual with a peripheral or central IV access device requiring maintenance.


Pre-Procedure Instructions:

  • Generally, no special preparation is needed.
  • Ensure the patient has adequate hydration.

    Diagnostic Tests/Assessments:

  • Inspect the IV site for signs of infection or infiltration.
  • Verify that the catheter or IV line is correctly positioned.

Procedure Description

  1. Preparation:
    • Gather sterile water, saline, and/or dextrose solution.
    • Use sterile technique to prepare the flush solution.
  2. Flush Administration:
    • Attach the syringe containing the flush solution to the IV line or catheter.
    • Slowly inject the 10 ml of solution into the line, observing for any resistance.
  3. Completion:
    • Remove the syringe and cap the IV line if not in use.
    • Document the procedure in the patient's medical record.

Tools/Equipment: Sterile syringe, flush solution, and antiseptic wipes.

Anesthesia/Sedation: Not required.


The procedure takes approximately 5-10 minutes.


The sterile water, saline, and/or dextrose flush can be performed:

  • In a hospital setting.
  • At an outpatient clinic.
  • In a surgical center.


Typically performed by:

  • Registered Nurses (RNs).
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
  • Sometimes by trained healthcare assistants under supervision.

Risks and Complications

Common Risks:

  • Minor discomfort at the insertion site.

    Rare Risks:

  • Infection.
  • Allergic reaction to the flush solution.

    Management: Monitor for signs of infection or adverse reactions and provide appropriate interventions as needed.


  • Ensures continued patency and functionality of IV lines and catheters.
  • Prevents complications associated with blocked lines, such as infections and clotting.

Expected Onset: Immediate.


Post-Procedure Care:

  • Monitor the IV site for signs of infection or leakage.
  • Ensure the patient remains comfortable.

Recovery Time: None required; normal activities can typically be resumed immediately.

Restrictions: Follow any specific instructions related to the patient’s overall treatment plan.


Other options include:

  • Changing the IV site if patency cannot be maintained.
  • Using heparin or other anticoagulant flushes for patients with a high risk of clotting.

Pros and Cons:

  • Alternatives may provide longer-lasting patency but come with added risks like heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

Patient Experience

During the Procedure:

  • Patients might feel a brief sensation of cold or pressure as the flush solution is injected.


  • Generally, no pain or discomfort is expected.

    Pain Management: Not typically necessary, as the procedure is minimally invasive and usually painless. If discomfort occurs, it is brief and mild.

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