Intravenous Lines Catheters And Ports
Intravenous lines are thin, flexible, plastic hoses that run from a bottle or bag of medicine into a tiny needle or intravenous catheter placed in a vein in your body. IV lines must always be germ-free to be sure no infections get into your blood. IV supplies are used only once and are never re-used. They are used to put medicines, blood products, nutrients, or fluids right into your blood. Sometimes, they can also be used to take out blood for testing.
Medicines can be given through these catheters at different speeds . Sometimes medicines are given through the catheters in just a few minutes, while other medicines may need to be given over a period of hours. The speed depends on the type of treatment being given and the type of catheter being used. Sometimes medicines can be given just by attaching a syringe to the catheter and pushing the medication into it, while other times the medication is attached to a mechanical pump that makes sure only a certain amount of medication is sent through the catheter each hour.
There are different kinds of IV lines and catheters. Which kind is used depends on what the IV is needed for, how often it is needed, the type of medicine that will be given through it, and the care it might need.
If you leave the hospital with an IV line, catheter, or port, your nurse will teach you how to care for it and what problems to watch for.
Problems That Might Happen With Central Venous Catheters
Potential problems could develop in CVCs. What kind of problems might happen depend on the type of catheter that’s used.
Possible problems when a CVC is inserted, or put in:
- You may have pain where the catheter is put in or where it lies under your skin.
- The needle or catheter thats used might damage the vein or another blood vessel. This can cause bruising or bleeding at the puncture site, or infection.
- Tests will be done before the CVC is put in to be sure that your blood clots normally. Even when it does clot normally, blood can leak out of the vein and cause bruising, pressure on other blood vessels or organs, and other problems. In most cases, bleeding is mild and stops on its own.
- Sometimes a condition called a collapsed lung may develop when a CVC is placed in the chest or neck. This happens when a lung is punctured and air collects in the chest outside the lung. CVC placement guided by ultrasound or fluoroscopy greatly decreases this risk.
- Your normal heart rhythm may be disturbed when the catheter is put in. This is usually only temporary and the normal rhythm returns when the catheter is repositioned. It rarely causes serious problems.
- In rare cases, the catheter will go into the wrong place, like an artery instead of a vein. If this happens, the catheter will have to be taken out. If there are no other complications, the artery usually heals by itself.
Problems that could happen later with CVCs:
When to call your cancer care team
What Is A Chemo Port
Cancer treatment can mean getting many needle pricks. IV medication? Poke. IV fluids? Poke. Blood sample? Poke. Dye injection for a PET scan? Poke. All those pokes can take a toll on your veins — and your nerves if you donât love needles.
A chemo port gives health care workers one-stop access to your veins: They poke the port, not your skin. It offers all the benefits of treatment without the discomfort, and it reduces your risk of infection and skin irritation.
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Consider A New Mattress
If possible, it may be worth considering a new mattress. A mattress that sags or is uncomfortable may cause someone to move toward the middle of the bed during sleep or to toss and turn in an effort to get comfortable. Sleeping on the back can also be more difficult if the mattress is not supportive enough.
Does A Chemo Port Provide Any Other Advantages Over An Iv Catheter
In addition to streamlining the delivery of chemotherapy medications, a port can provide several other benefits as compared to an IV catheter:
- A port site is prepared with a sterile technique, which ensures that all surfaces are free of microorganisms and thus greatly reduces the risk of infection .
- A port can also be used for delivering fluids and transfusions, drawing blood for lab testing and injecting dye for PET and CT scans.
- A port reduces the risk of medications coming into contact with and possibly irritating the skin.
- A port can be used to provide treatments that span several days.
If you have further questions, you are welcome to talk with an expert at Moffitt. Call or complete our new patient registration form online.
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Incisions Closed With Dermabond
If your incisions were closed with sutures:
- You may have small pieces of tape or bandages covering the incisions.
- Do not apply lotion or place adhesive on top of the tape or bandage.
- Do not pick or scratch the Dermabond. It will come off on its own after about 7 to 10 days.
- Your care team will give you instructions for how to shower safely until your incisions heal.
The skin over your port doesnt need any special care. You can wash it as you normally would. If your care team used Steri-Strips, these will fall off on their own in 7 to 10 days.
Your port will not set off metal detectors.
Central Venous Catheters : Ports And Catheters
Central venous catheters are also called central venous access devices , central catheters, or central lines. The catheter is a soft, narrow tube that is placed into a large vein near your heart. The other end of the catheter, where medicine and fluid is given, looks different depending on the type of CVC you have. CVC catheters are bigger and longer than peripheral IVs.
Not everyone getting cancer treatment will need a CVC, but there are several situations where they can be helpful. You might need a CVC if:
- You have fragile or hard-to-find veins.
- One or both of the arms cannot be used for IVs.
- Your veins have been damaged from treatment.
- Your treatment is expected to last several months or longer.
- You need to be given a drug that can be very hard on the veins or could cause skin damage if it leaks outside a peripheral IV.
- You need to be given lots of different medicines and treatments at the same time.
- You will need hyperalimentation , a liquid form of nourishment that is given by IV. This can be very hard on veins, and might be needed for an extended period of time.
As long as a CVC is cared for and doesn’t develop problems, it can stay in for as long as youre getting treatment. Some types can be left in place even after treatment ends.
There are different kinds of CVCs. Here are some of the most common :
Tunneled Central Venous Catheters
This type of catheter can have many separate channels or tubes and is surgically placed in a large vein in the chest. The catheter is tunneled under the skin, but the openings to the lumens stick out of the skin on the chest. Brand names include Hickman, Broviac, Groshong, and Neostar. This catheter can be left in place for months or years.
The external catheter and the skin around it will need care and regular flushing.
Remove Devices From Your Skin
Talk with the healthcare provider who manages your diabetes care before your appointment if you wear:
- A continuous glucose monitor .
- An insulin pump.
The manufacturer recommends you remove these devices from your skin before your scan or procedure. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to manage your glucose while your device is off. They can also help you schedule your appointment closer to the date you need to change your device.
Make sure you have an extra device with you to put on after your scan or procedure.
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Where Is A Chemo Port Implanted
Usually, a chemo port is centrally placed under the skin near a large vein in the upper chest. This can be a good alternative to an intravenous catheter that is peripherally placed in an arm or hand vein . Easily accessible by a patients treatment team, a port can provide a safer and more efficient medication delivery process than an IV. And, while a port will produce a visible, quarter-sized bump under the skin, it can be easily covered with regular clothing.
Inside The Procedure Room
Once youre in the procedure room, your healthcare provider will inject of local anesthesia. Local anesthesia is medication to numb an area of your body. Your healthcare provider will inject the anesthesia into your neck and chest.
You may also need general anesthesia to have your port placed. General anesthesia is medicine to make you sleep during your procedure.
Your doctor will make a small incision at the base of your neck . It will be about 1 to 1.5 inches long. They will make a second small incision of about 0.5 inches long on your chest, under your collarbone. Then, they will make a pocket under your skin. This will hold your port in place.
Figure 5. Incision sites for port placement
Your healthcare provider will place the catheter through the second incision and connect it to your vein.
Your care team will use sutures or surgical glue called Dermabond® to close your incisions. If you have sutures, they will be absorbed into your body. You will not need to have them removed. They may also use Steri-StripsTM. These are short, thin strips of surgical tape that are stronger than a regular bandage.
Your procedure should take about 1 hour.
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Request An Appointment At Moffitt Cancer Center
Please call for support from a Moffitt representative. New Patients and Healthcare Professionals can submit an online form by selecting the appropriate button below. Existing patients can call . for a current list of insurances accepted at Moffitt.
NEW PATIENTS To request a new patient appointment, please fill out the online form or call 1-888-663-3488.
REFERRING PHYSICIANS Providers and medical staff can refer patients by submitting our online referral form.
Moffit now offers Virtual Visits for patients. If you are eligible for a virtual appointment, our scheduling team will discuss this option further with you.
Moffitt Cancer Center is committed to the health and safety of our patients and their families. For more information on how were protecting our new and existing patients, visit our COVID-19 Info Hub
Taking Your Child’s Temperature
A fever is often a sign of infection. You should check your child’s temperature each day. If you will be taking the temperature by mouth, make sure your child has not had anything to eat or drink in the last 30 minutes because this may change the temperature reading. Call your child’s doctor if the temperature is 100.4F or higher.
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Iv: Implanted Port Care At Home
The implanted port is a device and catheter that is surgically placed under the skin in your child’s body . It lessens the need to start an IV for every treatment. With this device your child can receive medicines or fluids directly into one of the large veins and into the blood stream. A noncoring needle must be used with the device because it has a special tip that will not damage the rubber septum of the implanted port.
Caring For Your Incision Site
You may feel soreness or pain at your incision sites and where the catheter was tunneled under your skin. This should get better in 1 to 2 days. You can take over-the-counter pain medication if you need it. You may also notice some bruising.
Wearing a seatbelt may put pressure on your incisions. You can put a small pillow or folded towel between the strap and your body to help with this.
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What To Do About Chemo Port Discomfort
After doctors insert a chemo port, it is fairly normal to experience some discomfort. A person will likely experience some swelling, inflammation, and tenderness. Bruising may also occur, which can take longer to go away.
It is important to avoid any clothing or items that create pressure or friction over the chest during the first 1â2 days after the procedure. Examples include:
- tight clothing, such as bras
- cross-body bags or straps
People also should not lift heavy objects or participate in strenuous exercise until the incision heals, which takes about 1 week. A doctor can advise on when it is okay to start exercising again.
For tight clothes and straps that are unavoidable, such as seatbelts, people can cushion them with pillows or padding.
Some mild discomfort is normal for those with chemo ports. However, it is important to get medical help immediately if a person develops:
- swelling or discoloration long after the initial procedure
- excessive pain, especially without a clear cause
- fluid or pus around the port site
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To Dispose Of Used Syringes Needles And Cannulas
CAUTION: Proper disposal of needles and syringes is very important.
|CAUTION: Be sure to keep syringes and supplies out of the reach of children and others who might misuse them.
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What Is An Implanted Port
An implanted port is a type of central venous catheter . A CVC is a flexible tube thats put into one of your veins.
You may need to get medication in a vein larger than the ones in your arms. Your port lets the medication go into your bloodstream through your vein. It can be used to give you medication for several days in a row.
A port protects your veins from damage from repeated access. A port makes it easier for your care team to:
- Collect blood samples.
- Give you intravenous medication. This is medication thats put into one of your veins. Some IV medications, such as anesthesia and some types of chemotherapy , must go through a large vein.
- Give you IV fluids.
- Give you IV blood products, such as platelets and plasma.
- Give you IV contrast. This is a special dye that helps your healthcare provider see your organs better.
Your healthcare provider will tell you if getting a port is best for you and your treatment.
A surgeon or interventional radiologist will place your port. An IR doctor is a doctor who is a specialist in image-guided procedures. They usually will place your port in your chest. A port sometimes can go into your upper arm instead. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about where your port will be placed.
Ports placed in the chest usually are about 1 inch below the center of your right collarbone . This allows for the most direct access to your vein. If you wear a bra, your port will be about 1 inch from where your bra strap lies.
Tubes Lines Ports And Catheters Used In Cancer Treatment
If you need surgery, chemotherapy, or other types of treatment, equipment like tubes, lines, ports, and catheters might be used. The type of equipment that’s used depends mostly on the reason it’s needed, but it will also depend on your health and preferences, as well as the preferences of your cancer care team.
Tubes, lines, ports, and catheters might be needed to give cancer treatments, other medicines, fluids, blood products, oxygen, and liquid nourishment . Sometimes tubes are used to pull or drain fluid from the body after surgery or during other treatment-related procedures.
You may not have to take care of any kinds of equipment like this. But if you do, you will be taught how to safely use the equipment and care for the area where they attach to your body.
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Removing Your Chemo Port
Your chemo port can remain in place for as long as youre undergoing treatments. Sometimes, the port may be left in for years after chemo is done. In that case, you can continue to use it for follow-up blood testing or for additional treatments if your cancer returns.
I kept in for two years after I completed my chemo, said one member. It was so much easier to have blood drawn.
Chemo ports can be taken out with simple outpatient surgery, which is similar to what was done to place the port. Because these procedures involve only small incisions, they often heal easily.
One member described seeing where a neighbors port had been removed: She pulled aside her T-shirt and showed me where she finally had her port removed, and I could not see a thing! She had to indicate the slight scarring, but I would not have noticed.
To Remove The Needle From The Port
The needle must be removed after 7 days. A new needle may be inserted anytime afterward. To remove the needle:
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Flush the port with Heparin as described below and on page 6.
- Loosen the dressing over the needle.
- Carefully stabilize the port with one hand while pulling the needle out of the port with the other hand.
- Throw away the needle in a sharps container.
Note: The port does not need a dressing when a needle is not in place. It does not need to be flushed again with Heparin until the port is used again, or once a month.
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