Quote from msb0811
Hi, I am preparing an educational presentation for nurses and was wondering what some of the current practices are in your organization/office: Can you please answere the follow if you use Ports for infusions.
1. Do you work in an outpatient setting or inpatient?
2. If a port is not used how often is it flushed? (exp 4-6 weeks)
3. If the port was not in use for several months and not flushed what is the longest since last flush you would flush? (exp 12-16 weeks since last flush).
4. When you access the port do you aspirate and then flush or do you flush then check blood return?
Thanks for your assistance with my questions.
I accessed ports while working in Radiology. It was in a hospital but most patients were outpatient, although we did work with some inpatients regarding ports. Our department placed, removed, accessed, and would "troubleshoot" ports.
We taught to flush monthly with 5mL of 100unit/mL Heparin and provided written instructions to the patients.
We had seen patients whose ports hadn't been accessed for, literally, years. We would access with a 19ga huber needle and flush briskly with 10mL normal saline then draw back for blood return. We would do the normal things to attempt to obtain a return. If no return or unable to flush, we brought the pt into the angio suite and attempted to flush with contrast under fluoroscopy to see what was going on. From that point, the radiologist would either order tpa (via infusion on a pump or to sit in the line as used on the floor) or would call the oncologist and recommend removal and replacement.
I was always taught that for a chest port you do not aspirated before flushing but I cannot recall the rationale I was given.