FLUSHING THE SALINE LOCK
If an IV is not to be started immediately, you should flush the catheter and
examine the site for signs of infiltration (fluids going into the tissues rather than the
vein). Hextend, normal saline, and Ringer's Lactate may be used to flush the saline
lock. The fluid used for flushing the saline lock will come from the IV bag in your combat
lifesaver bag. Since you are using a sterile needle to withdraw fluid from the IV bag, the
fluid inside the IV bag will remain sterile.
Attach the 21-gauge needle to the 5 ml syringe.
Fill the syringe with sterile fluid.
Penetrate the Tegaderm dressing with the needle.
Insert the needle into the saline lock.
Inject the sterile fluid into the catheter.
Look for signs of infiltration.
(7) Withdraw the needle from the lock and dressing. (The lock will prevent
blood or fluid from escaping from the catheter.)
Properly discard the needle.
b. Infiltration. Check the infusion site for signs of infiltration. Some signs and
symptoms of infiltration are:
Unusual pain felt by casualty at site of infusion.
Swelling at the site of the infusion.
Redness at the site of the infusion.
Site is cool to the touch.
Clear fluid leaking around the site.