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Old 06-29-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
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Care4Mee HB User
Portacath no longer accessable for flushing

My husband has had a portacath for 10 years. It pretty much has not been used in the last 5 years, however we have had it flushed every 4 - 5 weeks. Today the home health care nurse was unable to administer the flush. Are their any contraindications of leaving the port in and not flushing it. Because he is housebound and his heart and lung health conditions would put him at risk for surgery, I am wondering what my next steps should be?

 
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Portacath no longer accessable for flushing

I had a porta-cath for 5 years after my cancer treatments ended. I had a few instances of difficulty in flushing it, but never an issue where they could not access it. It sounds to me like it might not have been anchored to the chest wall or the anchoring suture has come loose or dissolved allowing the cath to shift position. It all depends on what they mean by "cannot access". If it has slipped it may be possible to physically move it into a position where it can be accesses. Either way you should probably consult with your doctor on the best way to approach this, or whether or not to remove it completely.

 
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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Re: Portacath no longer accessable for flushing

loggrad98,

Thank you for the information and suggestion. Since my husband hasn't seen his Oncologist or Gastroenterologist (the surgeon that put in the portacath) in several years, and has made the decision that he doesn't want any additional intervention or treatment, nor additional diagnosis as to his status, but refuses relinquish his care to a hospice program...I'm limited as to the resources I have. The Cardiologist, which is currently the only doctor he sees on a yearly basis, has not been helpful in giving me any opinions relative to a determination if I can just leave the portacath in place with no maintenance (flushing) given there is no intention of ever using it again.

I know as a caregiver I should be insisting that he see someone, but I don't have the heart to make him go though anymore than he already has. I just want to make him comfortable and know that this will do no harm.

Thank you again,
Care4Mee

 
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