Pre-filled Saline Syringe (PreSS)

Initiative Type
Service Improvement
30 July 2019
Last updated
14 October 2020


The PreSS initiative involves the introduction of a pre-filled saline syringe specifically designed for flushing vascular access devices.

Key dates
Jul 2019
Jun 2020
Queensland Emergency Department Strategic Advisory Panel (QEDSAP)


PreSS aims to decrease potential for infection by improving adherence to Aseptic Non Touch Technique (ANTT) principles and extend patency life of PIVCs with the use of the pre-filled saline syringe.


Benefits to using PreSS instead of manual flushing include:

  • Reduction in risk of catheter related blood stream infections.
  • Improved adherence to ANTT principals.
  • Improved cost effectiveness.


The PreSS Initiative Lead is Tracey Hawkins, Senior Clinical Research Nurse at the Emergency and Trauma Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Metro North HHS.

The Queensland Health I-CARE Guidelines (2015) note aseptic flushing as a prime step in the process of inserting and maintenance of Vascular Access Devices, including PIVCs. It was observed that at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Emergency Trauma Centre (RBWH ETC) that the customary method of drawing up a normal saline flush was resulting in deviation from best practice guidelines including potential for contamination, and breach of medication labelling guidelines.

Solutions Implemented

Implementation of the prefilled saline syringe to the RBWH ETC involved:

  • Key stakeholder engagement
  • Identification of clinical change champions
  • Staff education
  • Appropriate ordering and organising of equipment monitoring and feedback

Evaluation and Results

The implementation of PreSS at the RBWH ETC saved an estimated $10,982 per year, based on material costings alone. Not included in this estimate is the released staff time and prevention of potential medication errors and Hospital-Associated Blood Stream Infections.


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Key contact

Tracey Hawkins
Senior Clinical Research Nurse and Initiative Lead, RBWH
PROV-ED Project – Healthcare Improvement Unit (HIU) – Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ)
(07) 3646 5005