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If you have a port...

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I ran into something new with my port last week, and thought I would share in case it helps someone...

The last couple of times we have tried to access my port for chemo, there has been a little difficulty getting good blood return. (They won't give me the chemo without good blood return, because the chemo is a vesicant.)

The first time it happened they had me do some simple movements (raise my arm and turn my head, stand up, lay down, etc.) to get the blood return. This last time, nothing was working. There were 3 nurses who tried everything.

What finally worked was an injection called TPA. (I think it is a blood thinner, not sure though.) The nurse had to get permission from the onc to use it. She injected it into the port, I sat and waited 30 minutes while it did it's thing. After 30 minutes, the nurse withdrew the TPA....and whawla...beautiful easy blood return.

The nurse said that sometimes tissue grows around the port and interfere with it's function...she said the TPA 'cleans that out'. We'll see how the port does this week...

Hugs,

Linda

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 473
Joined: Oct 2012

I almost always have had issues with my port. Even today, when I went in to have it flushed.

Sounds like you have had to do what I had to do: recline more, raise arm, turn, cough, move to an even flatter surface, injection. The joke is that I practically had to stand on my head to get a blood return.

Now that I am done with chemo (mid-July), I just go in to have it flushed every six weeks. (After my next CT scan next month, I will know if I can get my port out.) The last two times, since my port is not now being used for chemo or a blood draw, I still do some of those contortions. Then the nurses decide just to give me an anti-clot drug and be done with it.

Not sure why I have this problem, but I will say I got tired of its seeming to take forever to get chemo going -- although I was thankful that they were careful to make sure things looked good to go.

Msdebym's picture
Msdebym
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2012

Hello Linda

I am a newbie here. I also have a port for chemo. I've never had a problem so far with blockage but I did Have to have a port replaced due to infection.
When the nurses are finished with my chemo they usually clear my port out with heparin. From what I hear one can get really sick if they try to flush port and it hasn't been flushed in a while.
Great info and thank you

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

I've never had any problems with getting good flow with my port in the 3+ yrs it's been in. Well there was one time when a student RN did it byt she just hadn't pushed it in enough. I get mine flushed evvery month as that is what is on the card from the manufacturer. The Cancer Center says you can do it every 8 weeks but my PA agrees with me - if the manufacture says every 4 weeks. It needs to be done monthly. Also I never get more than a tiny drop of blood when it's removed - some times not even that. But then I don't ever get more than a drop (maybe 2) of blood from a blood draw or blood donation. (The only time my port has been used for a blood draw was on a day that it was scheduled for a flush and I had a blood draw scheduled the same day so RN did the draw when she flushed.)

Thanks for the heads up and I will keep it iin mind in case a problem evelopes.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

mom62
Posts: 601
Joined: Mar 2004

Linda,

Sorry to hear about your trouble with your port. You have already been through too much. I admire your strength. I've never had a port although I've had chemo twice. I can't imagine what you are going through. You are one patient woman! Hugs.

Terry

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