Taking care of your port and preventing infection I Norton Cancer Institute

it's life as usual we try to keep you as

normal as possible you've got cancer

life does not stop you chemotherapy you

try and stay as close to your normal

life routine as you can the same thing

with the port accessing the port as long

as you do not have a needle in your port

its life as usual when we access your

port you're going to notice that we use

sterile gloves we do it sterile II we

have a special antiseptic cleaner it

looks like a sponge we'll squeeze it and

we'll scrub around the port site we're

gonna be scrubbing the connection site

where our syringe goes we're gonna be

scrubbing it very vigorously with

alcohol before we administer any

medications through there that's very

important as well as great hand-washing

if in you if you notice anyone not doing

that it is okay to say can you stop I

noticed you didn't scrub the hub or

clean off the port before you're

administering my medicine that puts me

at risk for infection you are your best

advocate so if you notice anything you

notice someone not washing their hands

someone not scrubbing the hub before

they administer medication to you

it is certainly okay to say I noticed

you didn't wash your hands I noticed you

didn't scrub that hub would you please

do that because I want you to help

protect me another way to help prevent

infection is once we have it accessed

we'll put a dressing on there to prevent

anything from getting around that port

site another important way to prevent

infection is minimizing the number of

times that we enter the port so we

really want to use it mainly for the

administration of your medicine when you

need labs we would prefer to use a vein

in your hand or your arm that will be

important in you know entering the port

less and helping to prevent infection

your port is a very important part of

your treatment plan it's you know one of

your lifelines so to speak ports can

because there's blood going through they

need to be flushed out to keep them open

able to flush we need to be able to draw

blood from them so we recommend that you

come in every six to eight weeks to have

the port flushed it's flushed with

saline and heparin heparin is an

anticoagulant that helps the blood from

clotting to help keep a clot from

forming around that the tip of the

catheter so it's very important to have

it flushed and quite honestly it takes

longer to get out the materials to do it

then it does actually to do the

procedure itself so you're looking at a

quick in-and-out trip to our office

sometimes when some people come in to

get their port accessed for treatment

we'll flush it and we can flush it but

we can't get blood back so it's nothing

to worry about it does happen what what

that means is sometimes there can be a

collection of blood at the tip of the

catheter or a some fibrin which forms

like a little flap so when you flush it

the flap opens and you're allowed you

know it flushes easily when you draw

back with the syringe that flap closes

and you're unable to get blood so we

take you know very important

care to get blood especially when we're

administering medications so we want to

make sure that that port is open and

readily easily give us blood so if that

ever should happen it's nothing to panic

about we have medication that we can

place in the port that will dissolve

that little collection of blood or

fibrin it takes a little time we usually

let it sit for about 45 minutes to an

hour before we check it and it dissolves

that and usually we get blood back and

it's good as new

so it's nothing to panic about