Monday, June 21, 2010

Ah...the joys of a port

Due to the reality that I am on IV’s several months out of each year, I had a central line put in.  This is commonly referred to as a port.  For the most part, ports are pretty low-key.  It makes treating an exacerbation easier, quicker, and often provides for more medication options.  However, there are some complications that can arise.  Yes, that’s right-complications.

When the port is accessed one of the ways to confirm that it is still working properly is to get a blood return out of the line.  This shows that everything is open and ready to go.  Well, the past couple of days I have been unable to get a blood return.  This could mean several things.
*a muscle is kinking the line (which I have had issues with in the past)
*it has shifted positions
*there is a clot in the line and when you try to pull back the suction causes the line to enclose around the clot
*there is some fibrous growth over the end that inhibits the blood from coming back through

There are a variety of approaches to this. There is a med that you can flush the line with to clean it out-gets rid of the clot and/or fibrous stuff.  Sometimes they will try to get a picture of the line-through ultrasound or a contrast dye MRI to look for any clots that could be serious (DVT or deep vein thrombosis).  Actually replacing the line. 

After re-accessing the port again this afternoon, we still were not able to get a blood return.  The home healthcare nurse is confident that the line is still viable.  It flushes fine and you can hear it going through the line. My doc feels that the problem is positional, so as of now, we are going to continue IV meds with an eye out for the following (which indicate a more serious issue)...
*drastic swelling on the side of the port
*very tender/pain near the line
*warm to touch

So, now to go get hooked up.

1 Response to Ah...the joys of a port

June 21, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Never a dull moment! :-) Continuing to pray.