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Urokinase with blocked central venous access device (Paediatric Guidelines)


Urokinase is the most common thrombolytic used for unblocking central lines.

Lines may be

  • completely blocked – unable to flush or withdraw
  • partially blocked – flushed but cannot bleed back

Urokinase can be used in both scenarios. Note - urokinase will only work on blood related occlusions. If it does not work it may be due to drug precipitate. Urokinase must be prescribed on the drug chart.


Vials containing powder for solution for injection.
Strength : 10,000 units (other strengths available but 10,000 units used in paediatrics)
Use immediately. Keep vial in outer container to protect from light.

  1. Reconstitute with sodium chloride 0.9% and instil the appropriate volume (see table below) into the catheter dead space only. Lock under pressure.
  2. Leave in situ for 20 to 60 minutes.
  3. Aspirate using pulsing (‘’pull-push”) method using a 10ml syringe (primed with 0.9% sodium chloride)
  4. Flush with sodium chloride 0.9%
  5. If line remains blocked Urokinase may be repeated and left in line for 24hrs
  6. After 24hrs repeat step 3. If line remains blocked contact Child’s Lead Team/Consultant

Administration may be repeated once if necessary.

For children less than 10kg, contact consultant for advice. For those above 10kg, follow the reconstitution guidance in table below.

Type of device Single lumen Hickman Single portacath Double lumen Hickman Double portacath

Reconstitution directions

Reconstitute ONE 10,000 unit vial with 2mL NaCl 0.9% Reconstitute ONE 10,000 unit vial with 3mL NaCl 0.9% Reconstitute ONE 10,000 unit vial with 4mL NaCl 0.9% Reconstitute ONE 10,000 unit vial with 6mL NaCl 0.9%

Volume to instil into the device

2mL 3mL 4mL
(2mL in each Lumen)
(3mL in each Lumen)


Last reviewed: 30/09/2020

Next review date: 30/09/2022

Version: 1

Approved By: TAM subgroup of ADTC

Reviewer name(s): Mairi Dunbar, Paediatric Pharmacist.

Document Id: TAM460

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