Apheresis Therapy

Port Ready

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Overview

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

Deciding on the right vascular access device option for you goes far beyond the treatment itself—it may provide advantages to your lifestyle and comfort, as well as the long-term health of the veins in your hands and arms.

 

THE PORTREADY™ PROGRAM

The PortReady™ Program is a patient-information initiative focused on helping you, or a loved one, as you start apheresis therapy treatment. Apheresis therapy isn’t always easy, but we believe choosing the right vascular access device is an important first step. The PortReady™ Program is a resource that provides you with information regarding port placement, access, and care. The right information can help you to be PortReady™.

THE APHERESIS THERAPY PROCESS

Apheresis is a medical procedure that involves removing blood from a patient or donor and separating the blood into individual components. Once separated, the blood component that contains disease-provoking elements is removed. The remaining blood components are then re-introduced back into the bloodstream. Talk to your healthcare team for further information about what’s best for you.

  • 9 OUT OF 10

    surveyed stated that port use improved their quality of life due to decreased pain associated with venipuncture, need for fewer needle sticks, and quicker blood withdraws.1

  • 87 DISEASES

    are currently being treated using apheresis therapy.2

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

A VAD (vascular access device) provides access to your veins for the delivery of I.V. medications and extracorporeal therapies such as apheresis therapy. Your doctor will choose the device appropriate for your treatment needs.

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IMPLANTED PORTS

Implanted device placed under the skin for repeated access.

 

Learn more about Ports
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PERIPHERAL I.V. (PIV)

Common for short-term use, placed in lower arm.

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PERIPHERALLY INSERTED CENTRAL CATHETERS (PICCS)

External device placed in chest.

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TUNNELED CENTRAL VENOUS CATHETER (CHRONIC CVCS)

External device placed in chest, common for long-term use.

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DID YOU KNOW

Choosing a method of delivery is an important decision for you and your doctor. Depending on your treatment regimen, you have the option to choose a delivery method that fits your lifestyle. Ask your doctor what vascular access device may be right for you.

WHAT IS A POWERFLOW IV PORT?

The PowerFlow® IV Port is a power-injectable apheresis port. It is a small device with a cone-shaped funnel. The IV port connects to a small flexible tube called a catheter. A needle that inserts a special tube (called an IV catheter) is put in the funnel of the IV port so that blood can be withdrawn, and medicines and fluids can be given.

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WHERE IS A POWERFLOW IV PORT PLACED?

The port is placed beneath your skin during a short, minor surgical procedure. The small tube or catheter is placed inside a vein, a vessel that takes blood to your heart. Ports are often placed in the upper chest. Your doctor will place your port where it is best suited for your treatment.

WHY MIGHT YOU CONSIDER A POWERFLOW IV PORT?

The PowerFlow® IV Port is specially designed for apheresis procedures. If you require long-term apheresis treatment, the PowerFlow® IV Port can help to provide a reliable access point. Your doctor or nurse may also require delivery of medicine or fluids into your bloodstream. If this is the case, the PowerFlow® IV Port may be an appropriate option for your treatment.

COMFORT

COMFORT

Once placed, a port can remain for as long your doctor determines you need it. While the port itself will still need to be accessed with a needle, there will be a decreased need for the sometimes painful poking and prodding when finding a peripheral vein in the arms or hands with an I.V. every time you receive treatment or have your blood drawn.

LONG-TERM HEALTH

LONG-TERM HEALTH

Since ports are typically placed in the chest, port usage can reduce the likelihood of damage to the veins in your arm or hand. This may benefit if you need blood work or I.V.s down the road.

LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

Implanted ports, compared to other centrally placed vascular access devices, are more likely to permit you to go about your normal day-to-day activities, like showering, swimming, and jogging. Ask your doctor or nurse about specific activities and the appropriate time to resume them.

INCREASED PRIVACY AND APPEARANCE

INCREASED PRIVACY AND APPEARANCE

With an implanted port, there is no exposed device. Implanted ports are small and can be hidden from view. No one needs to know about your treatment unless you want them to.

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DID YOU KNOW

If you are receiving an infusion treatment, it may involve frequent injections or infusions of medication and other fluids directly into the bloodstream. The treatment may also require that blood samples be withdrawn. An implanted port may help to decrease the discomfort of these procedures. Ask your doctor if a port is right for you.

AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE

Implantable ports are typically placed during a short, minor surgical procedure in an Interventional Radiology suite or Surgical suite. Once your port is placed, most facilities allow the port to be used right away for your treatment.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AFTER A POWERFLOW IV PORT IS PLACED?

After the procedure you will see some redness and tenderness in the area. This should go away in 24 to 48 hours. However, contact your doctor or nurse if you notice unusual changes in the skin such as increased swelling, redness or soreness.

If your PowerFlow® IV Port will be used the day it is placed, your doctor will insert a special needle (called a peripheral IV catheter) into the port during the port placement. The IV catheter and port will be covered by a bandage or other dressing during access.

HOW WILL YOUR POWERFLOW IV PORT BE ACCESSED?

After the port is placed, your doctor or nurse will access the port when they need to withdraw blood, give medicine or fluids. The peripheral IV catheter is put in the funnel of the IV port so that blood can be withdrawn and medicines and fluids can be given.

Depending on the facility or your prescribed therapy, you may be sitting up in a chair or lying down on a bed for the procedure. You may feel a mild pricking when they put the needle into the port. This sensation often gets milder over time. Ask your doctor or nurse for more details as to what you should expect.

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR POWERFLOW IV PORT?

Your port will need to be flushed (cleansed out with fluid) when it’s not being used. This is done to make sure the catheter doesn’t become blocked. Your port will also be flushed right before the peripheral IV catheter is removed after each treatment. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you will return to the clinic for flushing your port.

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DON'T FORGET

Review your patient discharge packet and contact your doctor or nurse should you have any questions or experience any complications post-placement. Keep your ID card, wristband and/or key tag on you so you can show your clinician if they have any questions about what kind of port you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

After the port has been placed and the small incision has healed, you should be able to return to your daily life. Ask your doctor or nurse about specific activities and when you can resume them.

A bandage will be needed until the incision heals. Afterwards, a bandage is not required when the port is not in use. During your treatment, a bandage may be applied to secure the needle.

Ask your doctor or nurse. The answer will depend on where your PowerFlow® IV Port is placed.

Insurance policies vary. Please check with your insurance company.

Security systems may detect the small amount of metal in the port. If this happens, show your Patient Identification Card.

The IV port can stay in place as long as your doctor makes sure that it works and that you still need it.

Yes. The port can be removed with a minor surgical procedure similar to the one used to place it.

Yes. The materials used in the PowerFlow® IV Port are safe for use in CT and CECT procedures.

Yes. You may get an MRI with the PowerFlow® IV Port. There are specific conditions for the MRI procedure, so ask your doctor for more information about MRI safety.

Unfortunately, a port is not for everyone—especially patients with a history of blood clots, had previous vascular access surgery, or who are not emotionally prepared to have an implanted medical device. Like any vascular access procedure, there is always a risk of complications, including venous blood clots, skin erosion, infection, a collapsed lung, or clotting of the port catheter. Talk to your physician or nurse about these and other risks, and whether a port or other treatments are right for you.

Patients who:

  • Have or are suspected of having an infection
  • Have a history of forming blood clots
  • Have a body size that will not allow for proper port placement or port access
  • Have had the port insertion site exposed to radiation
  • Are not emotionally prepared to have an implanted medical device

A port is not for everyone. It is important that you talk with your physician or nurse about the risks associated with a port and port use.   Potential complications include:

  • Blood clot formation
  • Redness and inflammation at the port insertion site
  • Skin erosion
  • Bleeding at the insertion site
  • Scarring at the insertion site
  • Port catheter breakage
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Vein erosion
  • Allergic reaction to the materials of the port
  • Port rotation or flipping while implanted
  • Leakage of medicine or IV fluid from the port
  • Improper port access leading to medicine or IV fluid being injected into tissue that surrounds the port
  • Port clogging

 

Use of an implanted port carries risks associated with a minor surgical procedure and vascular access.

  • Potential complications include:
  • Internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Collapsed lung
  • Fluid buildup around the lungs
  • Blood clot formation
  • Accidental cutting or puncturing of blood vessels

After the procedure you will see some redness and tenderness in the area. This should go away in 24 to 48 hours. However, contact your doctor or nurse if you notice unusual changes in the skin such as increased swelling, redness or soreness. If you have pain, fever, chills, shortness of breath, or dizziness, contact your doctor right away.

You should be given a wallet-sized Medical Alert Identification Card. This card has important information about the port. With this information, other medical personnel will be able to help you.

References

  1. C. Chernecky. “Satisfaction Versus Dissatisfaction with Venous Access Devices in Out Patient Oncology: A Pilot Study”. Oncology Nursing Forum 28:10:2001 pp 1631-1616. N=24
  2. Schwartz J, Padmanabhan A, Aqui N et al. (2016) “Guidelines on the Use of Therapeutic Apheresis in Clinical Practice–Evidence‐Based Approach from the Writing Committee of the American Society for Apheresis: The Seventh Special Issue”. 31(3):145-338.
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