Intravenous literature: Mangum, D.S., Verma, A., Weng, C., Sheng, X., Larsen, R., Kirchhoff, A.C., Druzgal, C. and Fluchel, M. (2013) A comparison of central lines in pediatric oncology patients: Early removal and patient centered outcomes. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. July 19th .
BACKGROUND: While there is increasing evidence supporting the choice of subcutaneous ports (SPs) over external venous catheters (EVCs) in pediatric oncology patients, prior conflicting studies exist and little data have been gathered as to which type of central line is preferred from the patient/family perspective.
PROCEDURE: We performed a single institution, 10 years, retrospective analysis of central lines in pediatric oncology patients (n = 878) to evaluate unplanned early removal and cause of removal while simultaneously obtaining a cross sectional survey of 143 of the primary caretakers/parents of these patients to evaluate their overall satisfaction with the line.
RESULTS: EVCs have significantly higher odds of unplanned early removal in comparison to SPs (6.7% of SPs vs. 27.3% of EVCs, odds ratio (OR) = 6.3, P < 0.0001 when controlling for age and diagnosis) secondary to increased infection, malfunction and patient preference. Patients with SPs felt like their central line was easier to care for, had less daily impact in their life, and were overall more satisfied with their central line compared to patients with EVCs, even when controlling for early removal (P < 0.0001 for all). SP patients were much more likely to state that they would choose the same type of line again (OR = 15, P < 0.0001) than EVC patients.
CONCLUSION: SPs demonstrated lower removal rates and greater patient satisfaction than EVCs. These data should be considered when choosing a central line for pediatric cancer patients.