Just thought I'd add a bit to the port thing. I've had a port-a-cath for 4-5 years (I've lost count:P). I had it fitted after cannulas and long lines were only lasting one dose of antibiotics, then failing. I could never even manage 1 week of IV's let alone 2!! I have Cystic Fibrosis and have IV antibiotics every 3 months, so I really needed better vein access.
My port is situated on my chest wall on the left. The only complaint I have about
it is that I can't go on the roller coasters with straps over the chest. I've never had an infection in it, and it very happily gives blood and receives meds. Noone has missed yet, though I've been told that is a bit sore when they do, it can be a bit sore first few days of being accessed too, but after that I hardley notice it's there.
Access is done aseptically, but changing dressings and things I'm a bit less particular about
that-just clean my hands and alcorub them, as long as its me changing the dressings and noone else. I use Mepilex dressings as they are almost waterproof, if it does look like water has leaked underneath the dressing when I have a shower, I just change the dressing stright away.
Even after all these years I don't have many accesible veins. But, they have told me I can't donate blood because they take so much for blood tests-so no wonder really. :P
There are also passports (I believe they are called) basically smaller ports in the crook of your elbow. I have a friend who says they're great and only get in the way as often as a normal port does.
I like my port, it makes life a LOT simpler. :)
Gail - the ultrasound thing sounds cool. Wish they had one at our hospital. They've even resorted to paediatric needles, and still sometimes have to just give up trying to get blood. I arrange blood tests for port flushes now. :P
Moderator of the Cystic Fibrosis Forums
Diagnosed with: Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma, ABPA, Clinical Depression, Mild Liver Cirrohsis, Mild Osteopenia, Erythema Nodosum. Waiting for final diagnosis on Muscular Dystrophy type symptoms.
Medication: Creon 10,000, Vitamins A,D+E, Salbutamol, Paracetamol, Tramadol, Nefopam, Ursodeoxycholic Acid, Trazodone, Slow-Sodium, Azithromycin, Metachlopromide, Omeprazole, Tobi Ineb, Folic Acid, Adcal-D3. I use PEP and Flutter device as my physio as well as the occasional ABC when bored. Had a Port-a-cath fitted on chest wall since Nov 04
Sometimes, I feel that I should go and play with the thunder - then I get scared and run away.I'm from the UK!!!!! If anything I say makes no sense to you, let me know so I know how not to be so English.