Disclaimer to the On-line Edition
This Manual has been designed for use in the NICU at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), London, Ontario, Canada, and represents clinical practice at this institution. The information contained within the Manual may not be applicable to other centres. If users of this Manual are not familiar with a drug, it is recommended that the official monograph be consulted before it is prescribed and administered. Any user of this information is advised that the contributors, Editor and LHSC are not responsible for any errors or omissions, and / or any consequences arising from the use of the information in this Manual.



  • the main use of heparin in this unit is used to help maintain the patency of arterial lines


  • enhances the action of antithrombin III, a naturally occurring inhibitor of thrombin; antithrombin III also neutralizes the activated forms of factors IX, X, XI, XII, and plasmin.

Side Effects

  • hemorrhage, hypersensitivity reactions


  • always have dosages double-checked with another RN prior to adding medication to IV bag
  • consult Pharmacy re compatibility with other drugs
  • should be used with caution in premature infants with intraventricular hemorrhage


  • 1 unit of heparin per mL of IV solution


  • Wardstock syringes of heparin 50 units per 50 mL 0.45% NaCL stored in main fridge


  1. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Gilman AG, Goodman LS Rall TW and Murad F (eds), 7th Edition, MacMillan, 1985
  2. Taketomo CK, Hodding JH and Kraus DM: Pediatric Dosage Handbook, Lexi-Comp Inc., Cleveland, 1992.

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