I.V. ROUNDS: What you need to know about ports

January 2006 
Volume 36  Number 1
Pages 20 - 21
  PDF Version Available!



DESIGNED FOR LONG-TERM use, implanted infusion ports are central venous access devices that can be used to deliver medications and fluids and to draw blood samples. Surgically implanted under the skin, they consist of a self-sealing septum covering a metal or plastic reservoir called the body, and a catheter connecting the reservoir to a central vein.

To access the reservoir, you'll use a special noncoring needle (Huber needle) or noncoring catheter, which are designed with a side-opening bevel that won't damage the septum.

The most common site for port implantation is in the anterior chest, below the clavicle, although other sites, such as the upper arm, are also options. Once the site heals, the skin covering the device defends the patient from infection.

Implanted ports are available in single- and dual-lumen configurations. The dual-lumen port has two noncommunicating reservoirs with their own catheters in a single port body. ...

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