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  • Port-a-Cath Use in Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on December 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve learnt a lot since being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) a little over three years ago. Despite IPF being a lung disease, this illness can also wreck havoc on many other parts of our bodies as well. I find that my feet swell, joints/muscles ache and like many of us, I sometimes deal with unbearable acid reflux or GERD.

    I can’t be sure whether or not the difficulty of getting blood from my veins is due to IPF, but I’ve never had trouble with physicians accessing my veins until I started getting regular bloodwork as a result of living with this chronic lung condition. I get bloodwork often, and in the last several months, my veins tend to “roll away” or “collapse”, as the nurses describe it when trying to take blood from me. This unfortunately results in multiple needle pricks to try and get enough blood from my vein for testing. I just got off the phone with my transplant coordinator who has suggested a solution to this issue. The last few times I’ve had blood work, I’ve needed about 10 needle pricks before they can access my blood.

    Next week I am going in for a very minor surgery (day procedure) to get a port-a-cath placed in my chest for future bloodwork access and medication administration, as needed. They wouldn’t leave the device accessed (when the needle is in) and place the device under my skin, so other than the scar for inserting it under my collarbone, there shouldn’t be any risk of infection. Here is hoping anyways! I am not nervous to have this placed in my chest, but I am a little nervous to be put under sedation. I had a hard time with this last time, especially being extubated.

    Does anyone else have a port-a-cath placed for frequent needle pricks, either for bloodwork for medication administration?

    If so, is it hard/difficult to manage or keep clean? 

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Charlene Marshall replied 4 years, 3 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Kristina grilo

    December 31, 2019 at 8:25 am

    How long will the surgery take?

  • Chuck Pefley

    December 31, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Happy New Year, Charlene!

    I had a port-a-cath placed in January 2018 for blood work and chemo treatments. Only local anesthesia was used – not a general. I just had the port removed last month after almost 2 full years of intermittent access. No issues with infection or other nasties. Be sure to ask for lidocaine just prior to each access. Happy to have been in remission from lymphoma since June of 2018.



  • Charlene Marshall

    January 1, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Hi Kristina,

    It was really quick, and for the most part pretty seamless. I had a bit of agitation coming out of the sedation but otherwise no issues. The surgery itself was under an hour 🙂

  • Charlene Marshall

    January 1, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Hi Chuck,

    Happy New Year to you as well! May 2020 be a great one for all of us 🙂

    Congratulations on having the port removed, that is a significant indicator of being in remission, that is great news. I’m glad to hear it didn’t cause any issues with infection etc, that is what I worry about. Thanks for writing, and hope you’re doing as well as can be.


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