Implanted ports: Evidence-based guidelines and a structured education programme leads to low complication rate


Intravenous literature: Taxbro, K., Berg, S., Hammarskjöld, F., Hanberger, H. and Malmvall, B.E. (2013) A prospective observational study on 249 subcutaneous central

vein access ports in a Swedish county. Acta Oncologica. February 22nd. [Epub ahead of print].


Background: Reliable central vein access is a fundamental issue in modern advanced oncological care. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of complications and patient perception regarding central vein access ports.

Methods: We prospectively studied 249 single lumen access ports implanted between 1 July 2008 and 15 March 2010 in a mixed patient population at a 500-bed secondary level hospital in Sweden. We determined the number of catheter days, infection rate and mechanical complications, as well as patient satisfaction regarding the access port, over a six-month follow-up period.

Results: Two hundred and forty-four different patients received 249 ports yielding a total of 37 763 catheter days. Ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance was used in 98% of procedures. Vein access was obtained percutanously by an anaesthesiologist in all cases. There was no case of pneumo- or haemothorax. The incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection, was 0.05/1000 catheter days and the incidence of pocket/tunnel infection was 0.39/1000 catheter days. Clinically apparent deep vein thrombosis occurred in four patients (1.6%). Patient satisfaction was overall high.

Conclusion: These results confirm that our team-based approach with written easily accessible evidence-based guidelines and a structured education programme leads to a very low complication rate and a high degree of patient satisfaction.

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