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Port-a-cath issues


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I have a question regarding portacath.

During my mom's third cycle of Folfirinox, the nurses were having trouble flushing my mom's portacath. The main issue was there was no blood outflow from the line, despite continuous inflow. But after several times trying, like asking her to put her hands above her, coughing, turning etc, the nurses were able to draw the blood and subsequently flush the line.

We continued to have this problem during pre and post chemo flushing on the fourth cycle, and during routine monthly flushing.

On the fifth cycle, there was no blood outflow at all. It delayed the chemo because my mom had to get a chest X-Ray to confirm that the needle was on her line. Everything was in place so she proceeded with her chemo.

We were told that hopefully there would be blood outflow during flushing, after the pump was taken off. But there was not.

My question is:

1. Does she need continuous X-Ray before every chemo session?

2. How long will her portacath last? Do we need to replace it at some point?



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PCUK Nurse Nicola

Hi John,

Its Nicci here, one of the nurses that woks on the support service. I am sorry to hear that your Mum has been having issues with her port-a-cath John. I am going to email you directly with some further information, I hope that is okay.

Kind Regards

Nicci Murphy

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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  • 5 months later...

I'm currently approaching my 34th folfirinox, oxaliplatin stopped after 9..about to be reintroduced due too new lung metastases. My chest port seldom bleeds, had the expensive protein cleaner too.. No difference.. My experience has been if it flushes okay crack on.. As the nurses seem too... Dignosis Jul 18....stable till last scan.. Initial reduced number and size of lung metastases.. Pancreatic still stable.. Apart from last chemo and fatigue I have been Asymptomatic.... However the recent fatigue has not improved grim comes to mind.. Best wishes 😕👍

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