Central venous port systems

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Intravenous literature: Teichgraber, U.K., Pfitzmann, R. and Hofmann, H.A. (2011) Central venous port systems as an integral part of chemotherapy. Deutsches Arzteblatt International. 108(9), p.147-54.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Port systems are easy to implant on an in- or outpatient basis and provide reliable, long-lasting central venous access. They are used mainly for cancer patients.

METHODS: This article is based on a selective literature review, the guidelines of the German Society for Nutrition Medicine and of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, and the recommendations of the German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology.

RESULTS: In modern oncology, central venous port systems are increasingly replacing short-term and permanently tunneled central venous catheters. They are indicated for patients who need long-term intravenous treatment involving, e.g., the repeated administration of chemotherapeutic drugs, parenteral nutrition, transfusions, infusions, injections, and/or blood sample collection. Port systems can markedly alleviate the burden of intravenous therapy and thereby improve these patients’ quality of life. The planning, preparation, and performance of port system implantation require meticulous attention to detail. The rate of implantation-associated complications is less than 2% in experienced hands; overall complication rates have been reported from 4.3% to as high as 46%. The proper postoperative use and care of the port system are of decisive importance to the outcome. Reported infection rates during port system use range from 0.8% to 7.5% in current clinical studies.

CONCLUSION: The treatment, follow-up care, and rehabilitation of cancer patients are interdisciplinary tasks. Optimal treatment and complication avoidance require a collaborative effort of all of the involved specialists-not just the physician implanting the port system, but also the oncologists, nutritionists, visiting nurses, and other home health care providers. Continuing medical education, too, plays a role in improving outcomes.

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