Background: To maintain implanted port patency, clinicians can better determine the difference between the use of heparin and normal saline, including risk to patients, unnecessary cost to the healthcare system, and whether heparin is effective in maintaining port patency.
Objectives: The aim is to compare the effectiveness of saline to heparin for maintaining implanted port patency and to evaluate the cost differences.
Methods: Data were collected from 56 patients enrolled in oncology clinical trials; 37 had paired data.
Findings: Results showed that saline was as effective as heparin in maintaining implanted port patency. The difference in mean cost of saline versus heparin was statistically significant. Eliminating heparin when locking implanted ports did not increase catheter occlusion rates.