Port a Cath for IV fluids

Nurses General Nursing


I am having my bilateral mastectomy in 11 days and I wondered if they would be able to use my port a cath for IV access while I am in the hospital. I have had my power port since March. I am not asking for medical advice. I just want to know if anyone has ever seen a port a cath used and the patient not be stuck again with a peripheral IV. I hate needles (funny for a nurse isn't it). I want to prepare myself for an IV stick if it is coming.

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc.

Of course they can use your port and they should but if it's a single they might still need a peripheral.

Specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff ED.

At least in my hospital, we can use a port-a-cath in the place of a peripheral IV with an MD order, we usually would not use a perm-a-cath.

Specializes in Oncology.

As long as your port has been maintained and is properly positioned, they'll probably use it. Make sure they know you have it! As previously mentioned, a single lumen port-a-cath may not provide enough IV access and you may wake up from surgery with one or more peripheral IVs, but at least you won't need to be stuck daily for a blood draw.

I always kind of though accessing a port was no less uncomfortable than being stuck for an IV, but again, at least they can draw blood off of it, and I guess if you have bad veins it beats digging.

I would think it would be ok to use post op..but they might have your chest all sterile draped during the procedure. This would make it hard for the anesthesia provider to assess your port during the surgery and they might prefer a peripheral line so they can look at it more often. At least, that's what I see at my oncology center. Good luck!

Specializes in Pediatrics, ER.

Yes, when a pt requested it we were able to use their PAC with an MD order. Good luck with your upcoming surgery.

Specializes in Neuro/Med-Surg/Oncology.

I don't see why it couldn't be used on the floor. While in the OR you will probably wind-up with one or more peripheral IVs though. I know our ORs want at least two readily available IV's at the ready. So don't be surprised if you wake-up with more than when you went under.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

Traditionally, the chemo powers-that-be did not want ports to be "messed with," with the concern that a less-than-knowledgeable nurse could cause issues with the port. In other words, the port access was reserved for chemo treatments, and all others were obliged to initiate and access peripheral sites.

In the last year, I have seen a movement toward accommodating the patient's desire to utilize the port for any necessary access. This has led to greater education among surgical nurses/anestheologists and a revitalized educational effort toward proper port access.

Specializes in adult ICU.

In my facility only the oncology nurses and the IV team nurses can access ports -- they do it that way because the rest of us (including anesthesia staff) wouldn't do it often enough to maintain competency. However, if they know you have a port, I would think they would be able to call the hospital IV team or have someone else that knows what they are doing access your port. I would not trust a CRNA or anesthesiologist to do it, but you probably know that already.

Best of luck to you.

Specializes in Oncology.

Do most hospitals not have specific surgical oncology units? I kinda figured post masectomy she would be on an oncology floor. Not sure how things are done other places, though, of course.

Specializes in ER.

Good gravy, what's the point of having a port if you don't use the heck out of it?

Our anesthesiologists will put a patient under with a port (any of the pre-opl nurses can access it for them), then establish a peripheral line for their work. Let them know what you want; you may not get it, but at least you will have made your wishes known. The masectomy patients we see do very well. Wishing you a quick recovery.

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